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28 Volumes. Crown 8vo. 10s. 6d. each volume. 

ARCHERY. By C. J. Longman, Col. 
H. Walrond, &c. 195 Illustrations 
and 2 Maps. 

ATHLETICS. By Montague Shear- 
man. 51 Illustrations. 


Phillipps-Wolley, &c. 
Vol. I.— Africa and America. 77 

Vol. II. — Europe, Asia, and the 

Arctic Regions. 73 Illustrations. 

BILLIARDS. By Major W. Broad- 
foot, R.E. 29 Illustrations and 
numerous Diagrams. 

Harding Cox and the Hon. Gerald 
Lascelles. 76 Illustrations. 

CRICKET. By AJ G. Steel and the 
Hon. R. H. Lyttelton. ' 65 Illustra- 

CYCLING. By the Earl of Albe 
marle and G. Lacy Hillier. 59 

DANCING. By Mrs. Lilly Grove 
F.R.G.S., &c. 131 Illustrations. 

DRIVING. By the Duke of Beaufort 
65 Illustrations. 

LING. By Walter H. Pollock 
F. C. Grove, C. Prevost, &c. 42 
Illustrations. • 

FISHING. By H. Cholmondeley 

Vol. I.— Salmon, Trout, and Gray 

ling. 158 Illustrations. 
Vol. II.— Pike and other Coarse Fish, 

132 Illustrations. 

GOLF. By Horace Hutchinson, the 
Right Hon. A. J. Balfour, M.P., 
&c. 89 Illustrations. 

HUNTING. By the Duke of Beau 
fort, K.G., and Mowbray Morris. 
53 Illustrations. 

Sir W. M. Conway, &c. 108 Illus- 
by Hedley Peek. 106 Illustrations. 

CHASING. By the Earl of Suffolk 
and Berkshire, W. G. Craven, &c. 
58 Illustrations. 
Weir, J. Moray Brown, &c. 59 

ROWING. By R. P. P. Rowe and 

C. M. Pitman. With Chapters on 
Steering, Metropolitan Rowing, and 
on PUNTING. With 75 Illustra- 

I SEA-FISHING. By John *Bicker- 
dyke; W. Senior, Sir H. W. Gore 
Booth, Bart., and A. C. Harms- 
worth. 197 Illustrations. 

SHOOTING. By Lord Walsingham 
and Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey, 
Vol. I.— Field and Covert. 105 

Vol. II.— Moor and Marsh. '65 Illus- 

ING, &c. By J. M. Heathcote, 
C. G. Tebbutt, &c. 284 Illustrations. 

SWIMMING. By Archibald Sinclair 
and William Henry. 119 Illustra- 
J. M. and C. G. Heathcote, &c. 
79 Illustrations. 

j YACHTING. By Lord Brassey, the 
Earl of Onslow, &c. 
Vol. I.— Cruising, Construction, 
Racing Rules, &c. 114 Illustra- 
Vol. II.— Yachting in America and 
the Colonies, Racing, &c. 195 
1 Illustrations. 

LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO. 39 Paternoster Row, Londo.n 
and Bombay. 

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All rights reserved 




First Edition, June 1888; Reprinted August 1888, 
January 1 889, September 1 890. New Edition, thoroughly 
revised and with additions, December 1 893. New Edition, 
thoroughly revised and with additions, July 1898. 




Badminton : June, 1888. 

Having received permission to dedicate these volumes, 
the Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes, 
to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, 
I do so feeling that I am dedicating them to one of the 
best and keenest sportsmen of our time. I can say, from 
personal observation, that there is no man who can 
extricate himself from a bustling and pushing crowd of 
horsemen, when a fox breaks covert, more dexterously 
and quickly than His Royal Highness ; and that when 
hounds run hard over a big country, no man can take a 
line of his own and live with them better. Also, when 
the wind has been blowing hard, often have I seen 
His Royal Highness knocking over driven grouse and 
partridges and high-rocketing pheasants in first-rate 


workmanlike style. He is held to be a good yachtsman, 
and as Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron is 
looked up to by those who love that pleasant and 
exhilarating pastime. His encouragement of racing is 
well known, and his attendance at the University, Public 
School, and other important Matches testifies to his 
being, like most English gentlemen, fond of all manly 
sports. I consider it a great privilege to be allowed to 
dedicate these volumes to so eminent a sportsman as 
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and I do 
so with sincere feelings of respect and esteem and loyal 




A FEW LINES only are necessary to explain the object 
with which these volumes are put forth. There is no 
modern encyclopaedia to which the inexperienced man, 
who seeks guidance in the practice of the various British 
Sports and Pastimes, can turn for information. Some 
books there are on Hunting, some on Racing, some 
on Lawn Tennis, some on Fishing, and so on ; but one 
Library, or succession of volumes, which treats of the 
Sports and Pastimes indulged in by Englishmen — and 
women — is wanting. The Badminton Library is offered 
to supply the want. Of the imperfections which must 
be found in the execution of such a design we are 

viii PREFACE. 

conscious. Experts often differ. But this we may say, 
that those who are seeking for knowledge on any of the 
subjects dealt with will find the results of many years' 
experience written by men who are in every case adepts 
at the Sport or Pastime of which they write. It is to 
point the way to success to those who are ignorant of 
the sciences they aspire to master, and who have no 
friend to help or coach them, that these volumes are 

To those who have worked hard to place simply and 
clearly before the reader that which he will find within, 
the best thanks of the Editor are due. That it has been 
no slight labour to supervise all that has been written he 
must acknowledge ; but it has been a labour of love, 
and very much lightened by the courtesy of the Publisher, 
by the unflinching, indefatigable assistance of the Sub- 
Editor, and by the intelligent and able arrangement 
of each subject by the various writers, who are so 
thoroughly masters of the subjects of which they treat. 
The reward we all hope to reap is that our work may 
prove useful to this and future generations. 




I. The History of Cricket ...... i 

By Andrew Lang. 

II. Batting 34 

By the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton. 

III. Bowling , . . . 94 

By A. G. Steel. 

IV. Captaincy . 187 

By A. G. Steel. 

V. Umpires , . . . . 217 

By A. G. Steel. 

VI. Fielding . .245 

By the Hon. R. H Lyttelton. 

VII. Country Cricket . . . . . . . 280 

By F. Gale. 

VIII. Border Cricket 292 

By Andrew Lang. 

IX. How to Score 299 

By W. G. Grace. 

X. The Australians 313 

By A. G. Steel. 



XI. The University Cricket Match . . . . 328 

By the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton. 

XII. Gentlemen and Players 356 

By the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton. 

XIII. The Art of Training young Cricketers . . 375 

By R. A. H. Mitchell. 

XIV. Single Wicket. . 386 

By the Hon. R. H Lyttelton. 
INDEX 395 


(Engraved by J. D. Cooper and R. B. Lodge, after Drawings 
by Lucien Davis, and Photographs by G. Mitchell, Martin 
& Tyler, and Medrington & Co.) 


Caught and Bowled 
A Young Cricketer 


Royal Academy Club in 
Marylebone Fields . . 

Caught at the Wicket 

Run Out 

A. E. Stoddart . 

Country Cricket (Mitcham) 

M.C.C. and Ground v. Aus- 
tralians, Lord's, May 
22, 1884 .... 

The Critics .... 

The Interval . 

Kennington Oval, 1854 . 

Our National Game . . 


Lucien Davis 

From a picture ascribed^ 
to Gainsborough, be 
longing to the M. C. C. 

After Hayma??s picture 
belonging to M. C. C. 

Lucien Davis 

From a photograph 
Lucien Davis . 

Lucien Davis 


To face p. 







Vignette on Title-page 
« Miss Wicket ' 


Lucien Davis 

j From an old print, 

1 I770 • 

The Champion Lucien Davis 

W. G. Grace ready to receive the) 


Forward Play From a photograph 

' Half-cock,' or over the crease play 

'Back-play* to a bumping ball. 

Gunn Cutting 

Shrewsbury Cutting . . . - . 

Old-fashioned Sweep to Leg (Gunn) . 

Square-leg Hit (W. G. Grace) . 

'The Glide' (W. G. Grace) . . . 

Forcing Stroke off the legs . 

Off Drive 

Running out to Drive (Shrewsbury) . 

Gunn playing Forward . . . . 

' The Demon Bowler ' . . . . Lucien Davis 

The Leg-break Diagram 

Position of Field if Bowling on Leg 

The Leg-break 

Likely Balls ; and what may become 
of them if not correctly played 

The Off Break 

'Off Breaks' 

Slow Ball 

Fast Ball 

A Hot Return. From a photograph 

i . . . 

From a photograph 
From a photograph 











A Pokey Batsman dealing with 


Low Delivery 

Doubtful Delivery 

The Field for a Fast Right-arm 

The Field for a Fast Left-arm Bowler 
Going in ..... 
Eton v. Harrow .... 
At Wicket after Bowling 
'Guard, please, Umpire' . 

A Clear Case 

'You must go, Jack' . 

Stumped ...... 

' Saving the Four ' 

Backing up 

' Overtaking and Picking up ' . 
The Right Way to Catch 
The Wrong Way to Catch . 
Wicket-keeper— Sherwin in position 
Wicket-keeper — another position 
Hit to Square-leg .... 



The Wrong Position for Stopping the 

An Anxious Moment . 

A Six-year Old .... 

Drawing away from the Wicket . 



From a photograph 

• 139 


. 167 


. 174 

. 176 

■ 177 

Lucien Davis 

. 187 

»> • • 

. 208 

From a photograph 

. 214 

Lucien Davis 

. 217 

From a photograph 

. 224 


. 229 

Lucien Davis 

• 243 

5> * * 

• 245 

J> • 

. 247 

From a photograph 

• 249 


• 250 


. 251 


. 252 


. 254 

Lucien Davis 

. 256 

From a photograph 

. 261 


. 264 

• 273 

Lucien Davis 

• 279 

From a photograph 

• 375 

Lucien Davis 

• 379 

(From a Picture escribed to Gainsborotizh belonging to the M.C.C.) 




(By Andrew Lang.) 
Archceology of the Game. 

Hundreds of pages have been written on the origin and 
early history of Cricket. The Egyptian monuments and Holy 
Scriptures, the illuminated books of the Middle Ages, and the 
terra-cottas and vases of Greece have been studied, to no 
practical purpose, by historians of the game. Outside of 
England, 1 and before the fortieth year of the reign of Eliza- 
beth, there are no documents for the existence of cricket. 
Doubtless in rudimentary and embryonic forms, it may have 
existed. Of those forms we still possess a few, as ■ rounders ' and 
1 stool-ball,' and we can also study degraded shapes of cricket, 
which naturally revert to the early germs of the pastime as 
degenerate human types throw back to the monkey. There 
is a sport known at some schools as stump -cricket,' 'snob- 
cricket,' or (mysteriously and locally) as ' Dex,' 2 which is a 
degenerate shape of the game, and which is probably very 
like the rudimentary shapes. These degradations are reversals 
or returns to primitive forms. 

1 Outside of England Mrs. Piozzi found ' a game called Pallamajo, some- 
thing like our cricket. ' If she meant Pallone, she merely proved herself no 
cricketer. Mr. Arthur Evans has noticed, in Dalmatia, a kind of trap-bat, a 
' cat ' being used in place of a ball, and the length of hits being measured by 
the stick that serves as bat. 

2 The learned have debated as to the origin of the local term 'Dex.' Let 
it suffice to say that it is not what they suppose. 


2 V ,v CRICKET. 

. f •.'A3ba^l ? ;m6tfe c?r rlfess light and soft, is bowled or tossed at 
any fixed object, which, in turn, is defended by a player armed 
with a stick, stump, hair-brush, or other instrument. The 
player counts as many points as he can run backwards and 
forwards, after hitting the ball, between the object he defends 
and some more or less distant goal, before the ball is returned. 
He loses his position when the object he defends is struck by 
the ball, or when the ball is caught, after he has hit it, before 
touching the ground. Such is the degraded form of cricket, 
and such, apparently, was its earliest shape. Ancient surviving 
forms in which a similar principle exists are ' rounders ' and 
' stool-ball.' The former has been developed in America into 
the scientific game of ' base-ball/ the name being Old English, 
while the scientific perfection is American. It is impossible 
to trace cricket farther back than games in which points are 
scored in proportion to the amount of ground that the hitter 
can cover before the return of the struck bajl .J Now other 
forms of ball-play, as tennis, in different guises, can be found 
even among the ancient Aztecs, 1 while the Red Indians prac- 
tised the form which is hockey among us, and the French 
and Walloons have sports very closely corresponding to golf ; 
but games with the slightest analogy to cricket are very rare. 
Stool-ball is the most important foreshadowing of cricket. As 
early as 1614, Chapman, in his translation of the sixth book of 
the * Odyssey,' makes Nausicaa and her girls play stool-ball. 
Chapman gives certain technical terms, which, of course, have 
nothing corresponding to them in Homer, but which are valu- 
able illustrations of the English game. . 

Nausicaa seems to have received a trial ball — 

Nausicaa, with the wrists of ivory, 

The liking-stroke struck. 

The Queen now, for the upstroke, struck the ball 
Quite wide of th' other maids, and made it fall 
Amidst the whirlpools. 

1 See M. de Charnay's Ancient Cities of the New World, p. 96. London. 



thereby, doubtless, scoring a lost ball. He describes this as 
'a stool-ball chance.' Chapman does not say whether the ball 
was bowled to Nausicaa. Everything shows that Dr. Johnson 
was writing at random when he described stool-ball as a game 
' in which a ball is driven from stool to stool.' Chapman con- 
ceives Nausicaa as making a ' boundary hit' There would be 
no need of such hitting if balls were only 'driven from stool 
to stool.' 

Strutt's remarks on stool-ball merely show that he did not 
appreciate the importance of the game as an early form of 
cricket. 'I have been informed,' he says, 'that a pastime 
called stool-ball is practised to this day in the northern parts 
of England, which consists simply in setting a stool upon the 
ground, and one of the players takes his place before it, while 
his antagonist, standing at a distance, tosses a ball with the 
intention of striking the stool, and this it is the business of the 
former to prevent by beating it away with his hand, reckoning 
one to the game for every stroke of the ball,' apparently with- 
out running. ' If, on the contrary, it should be missed by the 
hand and strike the stool, the players change places.' Strutt 
adds, in a note, that he believes the player may be caught out. 
He describes another game in which stools are set as ' bases ' 
in a kind of base-ball. He makes the usual quotations from 
Durfey about 'a match for kisses at stool-ball to play.' ] 

Brand's notes on stool-ball do no more than show that men 
and women played for small wagers, as in Herrick, 

At stool-ball, Lucia, let us play 
For sugar, cakes, and wine. 2 

It is plain enough that stool-ball was a game for girls, or 
for boys and girls, and Herrick and Lucia. /As at present 
played stool-ball is a woman's game ; but no stool is used : what 

1 Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, 1810, pp. 89, 90 ; cf. Durfey's Pills to Purgt 
Melancholy, i. 91. 

2 Popular Antiquities, i. 153, note. London, 1813. The lines are quoted 
by Brand from A Pleasant Grove of New Fancies, p. 74. London, 1657. He 
might have gone straight to Herrick, Hesperides (1648). p. 280. 

B 2 


answers to the wicket is a square board at a certain height on a 
pole, much as if one bowled at the telegraph instead of the 
stumps. Consequently, as at base-ball, only full pitches can be 
tossed. However, in stool-ball we recognise the unconscious 
beginnings of better things. As much may be said for ' cat-and- 
dog.' "This ma y De regarded either as a degraded attempt at 
early cricket, played by economists who could not afford a ball, or 
as a natural volks-kriket, dating from a period of culture in which 
balls had not yet been invented. The archaeologist will prefer 
the latter explanation, but we would not pedantically insist on 
either alternative. In Jamieson's ' Scotch Dictionary,' x cat-and- 
dog is described as a game for three. 2 Two holes are cut at a 
distance of thirteen yards. At each hole stands a player with 
a club, called a ' dog.' A piece of wood, 3 four inches long by 
one in circumference, is tossed, in place of a ball, to one of the 
dogsmen. His object is to keep the cat out of the hole. ' If 
the cat be struck, he who strikes it changes places with the 
person who holds the other club, and as often as the positions 
are changed one is counted as won in the game by the two 
who hold the clubs.' Jamieson says this is an * ancient sport 
in Angus and Lauder.' A man was bowled when the cat got 
into the hole he defended. We hear nothing of * caught and 
bowled.' 4 

Cat-and-dog, or, more briefly, cat, was a favourite game 
with John Bunyan. He was playing when a voice from heaven 
(as he imagined) suddenly darted into his soul, with some 
warning remarks, as he was * about to strike the cat from 
the hole.' The cat, here, seems to have been quiescent. 
' Leaving my cat on the ground, I looked up to Heaven,' and 
beheld a vision. Let it be remembered that Bunyan was 
playing on Sunday. The game of cat, as known to him, was, 

1 Edinburgh, 1841. 

8 In married life, two are quite enough to play • cat and dog. ' 

5 Compare Loggat. See Hamlet, v. 1, and Nares' Glossary, s. v. 

* Brand, ii. 287, quotes a reference to ' cat and doug ' from the Life of 
the Scotch Rogue. London, 1722. The Scotch Rogue says nothing about 


apparently, rather a rude variety of knurr and spell than of 
cricket. This form is mentioned by Strutt. 1 Both stool-ball 
and cat-and-dog have closer affinities with cricket than club- 
ball as represented in Strutt's authorities. 2 Perhaps we may 
say that wherever stool-ball was played, or cat-and-dog, there 
cricket was potentially present. As to the derivation of the 
word ' cricket,' philologists differ as much as usual. Certainly 
'cricket' is an old word for a stool, though in this sense 
it does not occur in Skeat. 3 In Todd's ■ Johnson,' we find, 
• Cricket : a low seat or stool, from German kriechen, to creep.' 
In Scotland we talk of a ■ creepy-stool.' 

It's a wise wife that kens her weird, 
What though ye mount the creepy ! 

says Allan Ramsay, meaning the stool of repentance. If, then, 
stool-ball be the origin of cricket, and if a cricket be a stool, 
'cricket' may be merely a synonym for stool-ball. Todd's 
1 Johnson,' with ignominious ignorance, styles cricket ' a sport 
in which the contenders drive a ball with sticks or bats in op- 
position to each other.' Johnson must have known better. In 
the ' Rambler,' No. 30, he writes, ■ Sometimes an unlucky boy 
will drive his cricket-ball full in my face.' Observe, he says 
1 drive,' not * cut,' nor ■ hit to leg.' 

Professor Skeat says nothing of this derivation of ' cricket ' 
from cricket, a stool. He thinks *et' may be a diminutive, 
added to the Anglo-Saxon cricc, a. staff. If that be so, cricket will 
mean club-play rather than stool-ball. In any case, Professor 
Skeat has a valuable quotation of 'cricket' from the French 
and English Dictionary compiled in 161 1, by Mr. Randle 

« P. IOI. 

3 The miniature in which a woman bowls to a back-handed player with no 
wicket is dated 1344. Bodl., 264. But the evidence of art is never very 
trustworthy. The painter may have been a woman, or a monk, or an unedu- 
cated person. Many of the pictures in modern books give a misleading view 
of cricket. 

5 Etymological Dictionary, 1882. The writer here owes a great deal to 
Dr. Murray, of the English Dictionary, who kindly lent him the ' slips ' (short, 
of course) on Cricket, as far as they have been collected. — A. L. 


Cotgrave. He translates the French crosse, 'a crosier, or 
bishop's staffe, also a cricket staffe, or the crooked staffe where- 
with boies play at cricket.' Now the name of the club used in 
French Flanders at the local kind of golf is la crosse. It is a 
heavy, barbaric kind of golf-club. 1 

Thanks to Cotgrave, then, we know that in 1611 cricket 
was a boy's game, played with a crooked staff. The club, bat, 
or staff continued to be crooked or curved at the blade till the 
middle of the eighteenth century or later ; and till nearly 172c 
cricket was mainly a game for boys. We may now examine 
the authorities for the earliest mentions of cricket. 

People have often regarded Florio's expression in his Italian 
Dictionary (1598) cricket-a-wicket as the first mention of 
the noble game. It were strange indeed if this great word 
first dropped from the pen of an Italian ! The quotation is 
■ sgrittare, to make a noise as a cricket ; to play cricket-a-wicket, 
and be merry.' I have no doubt myself that this is a mere 
coincidence of sound. The cricket (on the hearth) is a merry 
little beast, or has that reputation. The term ' cricket-a-wicket » 
is a mere rhyming reduplication of sounds like ' hob-nob ' or 
« tooral-ooral,' or the older ' Torelore,' the name of a mythical 
country in a French romance of the twelfth century. It is an 
odd coincidence, no doubt, that the rhyming reduplication 
should associate wicket with cricket. But, for all that, ' cricket- 
a-wicket ' must pair off with ' helter-skelter,' ' higgledy-piggledy,' 
and Tarabara to which Florio gives cricket-a-wicket as an 
equivalent. 2 

Yet cricket was played in England, by boys at least, in 
Florio's time. The proof of this exists, or existed, in the ■ Con- 
stitution Book of Guildford,' a manuscript collection of records 
once in the possession of that town. In the ' History of Guild- 
ford,' an anonymous compilation, published by Russell in the 

1 See M. Charles Deulin's tale, * Le Grand Choleur,' in Contes du Roi 
Gambrinus. There is a good deal of information in Germinal, by M. Zola. 
The balls are egg-shaped, and of boxwood. The game is a kind of golf, 
played across country. 

8 Cotgrave's French Dictionary, 'Crosse.' i6u. 


Surrey town, and by Longmans in London (1801), there are ex- 
tracts from the ' Constitution Book.' They begin with a grant 
anno li. Ed. III. For our purpose the only important passages 
are pp. 201, 202. In the thirty-fifth year of Elizabeth one William 

1 Miss Wicket.' (From an old print, 1770.) 

Wyntersmoll withheld a piece of common land, to the extent of 
one acre, from the town. Forty years before, John Parvishe had 
obtained leave to make a temporary enclosure there, and the 
enclosure had never been removed. In the fortieth year of 


Elizabeth this acre was still in dispute, when John Derrick, gent, 
aged fifty-nine, one of the Queen's Coroners for the county, 
gave evidence that he ' knew it fifty years ago or more. It 
lay waste and was used and occupyed by the inhabitants of 
Guildeford to saw timber in and for saw-pitts. . . . When he 
was a scholler in the free school of Guildeford he and several 
of his fellowes did run and play there at crickett and other 

This is the oldest certain authority for cricket with which I 
am acquainted. Clearly it was a boy's game in the early years 
of Elizabeth. Nor was it a very scientific game if it could be 
played on a wicket agreeably diversified by ' saw-pitts.' William 
Page may have played cricket at Eton and learned to bat as well 
as ' to hick and hack, which they will do fast enough of them- 
selves, and to cry horum.' It has already been shown that, 
in[i6ii, 'boyes played at crickett,' with a crooked bat or 

In 1676 we get a view of a summer day at Aleppo, and of 
British sailors busy at the national game. 

Henry Teonge, Chaplain onboard H. M.S. ships 'Assist- 
ance,' ■ Bristol,' and 'Royal Oak,' Anno 1675 to 1679, writes: — 

[At Aleppo]. 
6. — This morning early (as it is the custom all summer longe) 
at the least 40 of the English, with his worship the Consull, rod 
out of the cytty about 4 miles to the Greene Piatt, a fine vally 
by a river syde, to recreate them selves. Where a princely tent 
was pitched ; and wee had severall pastimes and sports, as duck- 
hunting, fishing, shooting, handball, krickett, scrofilo ; and then a 
noble dinner brought thither, with greate plenty of all sorts of 
wine, punch, and lemonads ; and at 6 wee returne all home in 
good order, but soundly tyred and weary. 1 

VWhen once the eighteenth century is reached cricket begins 
to find mention in literature. Clearly the game was rising in 
the world and was being taken up, like the poets of the period, 
by patrons. < Lord Chesterfield, whom Dr. Johnson found a 

1 Diary, p. 159 ; May, 1676. 


patron so insufficient, talked about cricket in a very proper 
spirit in i74qT/ 'If you have a right ambition you will 
desire to excell all boys of your age at cricket ... as well 
as in learning.' That is the right style of fatherly counsel ; 
but Philip Stanhope never came to ' European reputation as 
mid- wicket- on,' like a hero of Mr. James Payn's. Lord Ches- 
terfield also alludes to 'your various occupations of Greek 
and cricket, Latin and pitch-farthing,' very justly coupling the 
nobler language with the nobler game. Already in the fourth 
book of the 'Dunciad,' line 592, Mr. Alexander Pope had 
sneered at cricket. 2 At what did Mr. Pope not sneer? The 
fair, the wise, the manly, — Mrs. Arabella Fermor, Lady Mary 
Wortley Montagu, Mr. Colley Cibber, and a delightful pastime, 
— he turns up his nose at them and at everyone and every- 
thing ! 

O le grand homme, rien ne lui peut plaire ! 

See, he cries to Dulness, see — 

The judge to dance his brother serjeant call, 
The senator at cricket urge the ball. 
Cricket was played at Eton early.: Gray, writing to West, 

says, 'There is my Lords Sandwich and Halifax — they are 
statesmen — do you not remember them dirty boys playing at 
cricket? ' 3 In 1736 Walpole writes, 'I can't say I am sorry I 
was never quite a school-boy : an expedition against barge- 
men, or a match at cricket may be very pretty things to recol- 
lect ; but, thank my stars, I can remember things very near as 
pretty.' 4 The bargee might have found an interview with Miss 

• l i. p. 197. Letter xxi. 

2 The bibliography of the Dunctad is not a subject to be rushed into 
rashly, nor in a note ; but this must have been written between 1726-1735, there 
or thereabouts. The Scholiasts recognise Lord John Sackville as the Senator, 
and quote a familiar passage from Horace Walpole (June 8, 1747) about 
Cricketalia, instituted in his honour. We may, perhaps, regard Lord John 
as one of the early patrons of the game. 

3 Gray's Works, 1807, ii. p. 2. See also 'urge the flying ball,' which 
must refer, I think, to cricket. That ode was first published in 1747. Johnson 
carelessly paraphrases ■ drives the hoop, or tosses the ball ! ' — C. W. 

4 To George Montagu, May 6, 1726. 


Horace pretty to- recollect, but when Horace pretends that he 
might have been in the Eleven if he liked, the absurdity becomes 
too glaring. We are reminded of Charles Lamb's ' Here is 
Wordsworth saying he might have written "Hamlet " if he had 
had the " mind." ' Cowper pretends (in 1781) that ■ as a boy 
I excelled at cricket and football,' but he adds, with perfect 
truth, ' the fame I acquired by achievements that way is long 
since forgotten.' The author of the ■ Task,' and of a good 
many hymns, was no Mynn nor Grace. We shall find but few 
of the English poets distinguished as cricketers, or fond of 
tuning the lyre to sing Pindaric strains of batters and bowlers. 
Byron tells a friend how they ' together joined in cricket's 
manly toil' (1807). Another noble exception is George 
Huddesford, 1 author of 'Salmagundi' (1791, p. 66) — 

But come, thou genial son of spring 
Whitsuntide, and with thee bring 
Cricket, nimble boy and light, 
In slippers red and drawers white, 
Who o'er the nicely measured land 
Ranges around his comely band, 
Alert to intercept each blow, 
Each motion of the wary foe. 

This passage gives us the costume — white drawers and red 
slippers. The contemporary works of art, whereof see a little 
gallery on the walls of the pavilion at Lord's, show that men 
when they played also wore a kind of jockey cap. In a sketch 
of the Arms of Shrewsbury School, little boys are playing ; the 
bat is a kind of hockey-stick as in the preceding century. 
There are only two stumps, nor more in Hayman's well-known 
picture engraved 1755. The fields are well set for the bowling, 
and are represented with their hands ready for a catch. There 

1 See also his Wiccamical Chaplet, 1804, where there is an excellent ' Cricket 
Song' (p. 131 to 133) for the Hambledon Club, Hants, 1767, in the course of 
which the follow ing names of cricketers occur : Nyren, Small, Buck, Curry, 
Hogsfiesh, Barber Rich ('whose swiftness in bowling was never equalled 
yet '), ' Little George, the longstop, and Tom Suter, the Stumper,' Sackville, 
Manns, Boyton, Lanns, Mincing, Miller, Lumpy, Francis. — C. W. 


are umpires in their usual places ; the scores are kept by men 
who cut notches in tally-sticks. Such ' notches ' were ' got ' by 
1 Miss Wicket,' a sportive young lady in a somewhat later carica- 
ture (p. 7). The ball (1770) has heavy cross-seams. But a silver 
ball, about a hundred years old, used as a snuff-box by the 
Vine Club at Sevenoaks, is marked with seams like those of 
to-day. Miss Wicket, also, carries a curved bat, but it has 
developed beyond the rustic crooked stick, and more nearly 
resembles some of the old curved bats at Load's, with which a 
strong man must have hit prodigious skyers.y We may doubt 
if bats were ever such ' three-man beetles ' as the players in an 
undated but contemporary picture at Lord's do fillip withal. 
The fields, in this curious piece, are all in a line at square-leg, 
and disappear in a distance unconscious of perspective. 

Cricket had even before this date reached that height of 
prosperity which provokes the attention of moralists. ' Here 
is a fine morning: let us go and put down some form of 
enjoyment,' says the moralist. In 1743 a writer in the ' Gentle- 
man's Magazine ' was moved to allege that ' the exercise may 
be strained too far. . . . Cricket is certainly a very good and 
wholesome exercise, yet it may be abused if either great or 
little people make it their business.' The chief complaint is 
that great and little people play together — butchers and baronets. 
Cricket ' propagates a spirit of idleness at the very time when, 
with the utmost industry, our debts, taxes, and decay of trade 
will scarcely allow us to get bread.' The Lydians, according 
to Herodotus, invented games to make them forget the scarcity 
of bread. But the gentleman in the magazine is much more 
austere than Herodotus. 'The advertisements most impu- 
dently recite that great sums are laid ' ; and it was, indeed, 
customary to announce a match for 500/. or 1,000/. Whether 
these sums were not drawn on Fancy's exchequer, at least in 
many cases, we may reasonably doubt. In his ' English Game 
of Cricket' (p. 138) the learned Mr. Box quotes a tale of 
betting in 171 1, from a document which he does not describe. 
It appears that in 171 1 the county of Kent played All England, 


and money was lost and won, and there was a law-suit to re- 
cover. The court said, 'Cricket is, to be sure, a manly game and 
not bad in itself, but it is the ill-use that is made of it by betting 
above 10Z. on it that is bad.' To a humble fiver on the Uni- 
versity match this court would have had no kind of objection 
to make. The history of betting at cricket is given by Mr. 
Pycroft in the ' Cricket Field ' (chap. vi.). A most interesting 
chapter it is. 

The earliest laws of the game, or at least the earliest which 
have reached us, are of the year 1774. A committee of noble- 
men and gentlemen (including Sir Horace Mann, the Duke of 
Dorset, and Lord Tankerville) drew them up at the ' Star and 
Garter ' in Pall Malh, ' The pitching of the first wicket is to be 
determined by the toss of a piece of money.' Does this mean 
that the sides tossed for which was to pitch the wicket ? As 
Nyren shows, much turned on the pitching of the wicket. 
Lumpy (Stevens) ' would invariably choose the ground where 
his balls would shoot.' ! In the rules of 1774, the distance 
between the stumps is the same as at present. The crease is 
cut, not painted. 2 The stumps are twenty-two inches in height ; 
there is only one bail, of six inches in length. ' No ball,' as 
far as crossing the crease goes, is just like ' no ball ' to-day. 
I Indeed, the game was essentially the game of to-day, except 
that if a ball were hit 'the other player may place his body 
anywhere within the swing of his bat, so as to hinder the 
bowler from catching her, but he must neither strike at her nor 
touch her with his hands.' 

At this moment of legislation, when the dim heroic age of 
cricket begins to broaden into the boundless day of history, 
Mr. James Love, comedian, appeared as the epic poet of the 
sport 3 His quarto is dedicated to the Richmond Club, and is 

1 The Cricketers Guide, fourth edition, s. a., p. 58. 

* The Bishop of St. Andrews can remember when the creases were cut, 
before chalk was used. 

5 Cricket, An Heroic Poem, illustrated with the critical observations of 
Scriblerus Maximus. By James Love, Comedian, London. Printed for the 
Author, mdcclxx. (Price, One Shilling.) 






inspired c by a recollection of many Particulars at a time when 
the Game was cultivated with the utmost Assiduity, and 
patronised by the personal Appearance l and Management of 
some of the most capital People in the Kingdom.'' Mr. Love, 
in his enthusiasm, publishes an exhortation to Britain, to leave 
all meaner sports, and cultivate cricket only. 

Hail Cricket, glorious, manly, British game, 
First of all sports, be first alike in fame, 

sings Love, as he warms to his work. He denounces ' puny 
Billiards,' played by ' Beaus, dressed in the quintessence of the 
fashion. The robust Cricketer plays in his shirt, the Rev. Mr. 

W d, particularly, appears almost naked/ 

One line of Mr. Love's, 

Where fainting vice calls folly to her aid, 

appears to him so excellent that he thinks it must be plagiarised, 
and, in a note, invites the learned reader to find out where he 
stole it from. To this a critic, Britannicus Severus, answers that 
' Gentlemen who have Cricket in their heads cannot afford to 
pore over a parcel of musty Authors.' Indeed, your cricketer 
is rarely a bookworm. 

' Leave the dissolving song, the baby dance, 
To soothe the slaves of Italy and France, 

and play up,' cries this English bard. 

In the second book, the poet comes to business — Kent v. 
All England. The poet, after the custom of his age, gives 
dashes after an initial, in place of names. In notes he inter- 
prets his dashes, and introduces us to Newland, of Slendon, in 
Sussex, a farmer, and a famous batsman ; Bryan, of London, 
bricklayer; Rumney, gardener to the Duke of Dorset; Smith, 

1 Talking of appearances, there is just one story of a ghost at a cricket 
match. He took great interest in the game, and went home in a dog-cart as 
it seemed to the spectators, though he (the real man, not the wraith) was on 
his death-bed at a considerable distance. The spectral dog- cart is the puzzle 
of the Psychical Society. The scene of the apparition was the cricket ground 
of a public school. 


keeper of the artillery ground ; Hodswell, the bowling tanner 
of Dartford; Mills, of Bromley; Robin, commonly called Long 
Robin; Mills, Sawyer, Cutbush, Bartrum, Kips, and Danes; 
Cuddy, the tailor ; Derigate, of Reigate ; Weymark, the miller, 
with Newland, Green, two Harrises, and Smith made up the 
teams. The match is summed up in the Argument of the 
Third Book. 

The Game. — Five on the side of the Counties are out for three 
Notches. The Odds run high on the side of Kent Bryan and 
Newland go in ; they help the Game greatly. Bryan is unfortu- 
nately put out by Kips. Kent, the First Innings, is Thirteen ahead. 
The Counties go in again, and get Fifty-seven ahead. Kent, in the 
Second Innings, is very near losing, the two last Men being in. 
Weymark unhappily misses a Catch, and by that means Kent is 

It was a splendid close match — but let us pity Weymark, 
immortal butter-fingers. In the first innings the wicket-keeping 
of Kips to the fast bowling of Hodswell was reckoned fine. 

If Love was the Homer of cricket, the minstrel who won 
from forgetfulness the glories of the dim Heroic Age, Nyren, 
was the delightful Herodotus of the early Historic Period. 
John Nyren dedicated his 'Cricketer's Guide and Recollections 
of the Cricketers of my Time,' to the great Mr. William Ward, 
in 1833. He speaks of cricket as 'an elegant relaxation,' and 
congratulates Mr. Ward on ' having gained the longest hands of 
any player upon record.' This famed score was made on July 24, 
25, 1820, on the M.C.C. ground. The number was 278, ' 108 
more than any player ever gained ; ' Aylward's 167 had previ- 
ously been the longest score I know. Mr. Ward's feat, moreover, 
was ' after the increase of the stumps in 181 7.' Old Nyren was 
charmed in his declining hours by a deed like this, yet grieved 
by the modern bowlers, and their habit ' of throwing the ball.' 
The history of that innovation will presently be sketched. 

Nyren was born at Hambledon, in Hampshire, on December 
15, 1764, and was therefore a small boy when Love sang. He 
died at Bromley, June 28, 1837. Like most very great men, he 


was possibly of Scottish blood. He was a Catholic and believed 
that the true spelling of the family name was Nairne, and that 
they came south after being c out in the '15 or '45.' Mr. Charles 
Cowden Clarke describes him as a thoroughly good and amiable 
man, and as much may be guessed from his writings. 

Mr. Clarke agreed with him in his dislike of round-hand 
bowling, save when Lillywhite was pitted against Fuller Pilch — 
a beautiful thing to see, as the Bishop of St. Andrews testifies, 
1 speaking,' like Dares Phrygius of the heroes at Troy, *■ as he 
that saw them.' In Nyren's youth — say 1780 — Hambledon was 
the centre of cricket. The boy had a cricketing education. 
He learned a little Latin of a worthy old Jesuit, but was a better 
hand at the fiddle. In that musical old England, where John 
Small, the noted bat, once charmed an infuriated bull by his 
minstrelsy, Nyren performed a moral miracle. He played 
to the gipsies, and so won their hearts that they always passed 
by his hen-roost when they robbed the neighbours. Music and 
cricket were the Hambledon man's delight. His father, Richard 
Nyren, was, with Thomas Brett, one of the chief bowlers. Brett 
was 'the fastest as well as straightest bowler that was ever 
known ' ; no j'erker, but with a very high delivery. The height of 
the delivery was not a la Spofforth, but was got by sending the 
ball out from under the armpit. How this manoeuvre could be 
combined with pace is a great mystery. Richard Nyren had 
this art, ' always to the length.' Brett's bowling is described as 
' tremendous,' yet Tom Sueter could stump off it — Tom of the 
honourable heart, and the voice so sweet, pure and powerful. 
Yet on those wickets Tom needed a long-stop to Brett— George 
Lear. The Bishop has seen three long-stops on to Brown ; 
1 but he was a jerker.' At that date the long-stop commonly 
dropped on one knee as he received the ball. An old Eton 
boy, G. B., who was at school between 1805 and 18 14, says, in 
a letter to the Standard (dated September 21, 1886), that 'a 
pocket-handkerchief was allowed round the dropping knee of 
long-stop.' A bowler with a low delivery was Lambert, c the 
little farmer.' ' His ball would twist from the off stump into 



the leg. He was the first I remember who introduced this deceit- 
ful and teasing way of delivering the ball? Cricket was indeed 
rudimentary when a break from the off was a new thing. ' The 
Kent and Surrey men could not tell what to make of that 
cursed twist of his.' Lambert acquired the art as Daphnis learned 
his minstrelsy, while he tended his father's sheep. He would set 
up hurdles instead of a net and bowl for hours. But it needed 
old Nyren to teach him to bowl outside the off stump, so little 
alert was the mind of this innovator. Among outsiders, Lumpy, 
the Surrey man, was the most accurate ' to a length,' and he was 
much faster than Lord Frederick Beauclerk. In these days the 
home bowlers pitched the wickets to suit themselves. Thus they 
had all the advantage of rough wickets on a slope ; yet, even 
so, a yokel with pluck and ' an arm as long as a hop-pole,' 
has been known to slash Lumpy all over the field. But this 
could only have been done at single wicket. A curious bowler 
of this age was Noah Mann, the fleetest runner of his time, 
and a skilled horseman. He was a left-handed bowler, and, as 
will be seen, he anticipated the magical ' pitching ' of experts 
at base-ball. How he did this without throwing or jerking is 
hard to be understood. ' His merit consisted in giving a curve 
to the ball the whole way. In itself it was not the first-rate 
style of bowling, but so very deceptive that the chief end was 
frequently attained. They who remember the dexterous 
manner with which the Indian jugglers communicated the 
curve to the balls they spun round their heads by a twist of 
the wrist or hand will at once comprehend Noah's curious 
feat in bowling.' He once made a hit for ten at Windmill - 
down, to which the club moved from the bleakness of Broad- 

We have followed Nyren's comments on bowlers for the 
purpose of elucidating the evolution of their ingenious art. All 
the bowlers, so far, have been under-hand, but now we hear of 
1 these anointed clod-stumpers ' the Walkers. They were not of 
Broadhalfpenny, but joined the club at Windmill-down, when 
the move there was made on the suggestion of the Duke of 


Dorset. ' About a couple of years after Walker had been with 
us' (probably about 1790), 'he began the system of throwing 
instead of bowling, now so much the fashion.' He was no- 
balled, after a council of the Hambledon Club, called for the 
purpose. This disposes of the priority of Mr. Willes (1807), 
and incidentally casts doubt on the myth that a lady invented 
round-hand bowling. Nyren says, ' The first I recollect seeing 
revive the custom was Wills, a Sussex man.' 

From the heresiarch, Tom Walker, we come to the classic 
model of a bowler in the under-hand school — that excellent 
man, christian and cricketer, David Harris. 

It would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to convey in writing 
an accurate idea of the grand effect of Harris's bowling ; they only 
who have played against him can fully appreciate it. His attitude, 
when preparing for his run previously to delivering the ball, would 
have made a beautiful study for the sculptor. Phidias would 
certainly have taken him for a model. First of all, he stood erect 
like a soldier at drill ; then, with a graceful curve of the arm, he 
raised the ball to his forehead, and drawing back his right foot, 
started off with his left. The calm look and general air of the man 
were uncommonly striking, and from this series of preparations he 
never deviated. I am sure that from this simple account of his 
manner, all my countrymen who were acquainted with his play 
will recall him to their minds. His mode of delivering the ball 
was very singular. He would bring it from under the arm by a 
twist, and nearly as high as his arm-pit, and with this action push 
it, as it were, from him. How it was that the balls acquired the 
velocity they did by this mode of delivery, I never could com- 

When first he joined the Hambledon Club, he was quite a raw 
countryman at cricket, and had very little to recommend him but 
his noble delivery. He was also very apt to give tosses. I have 
seen old Nyren scratch his head, and say, — ' Harris would make 
the best bowler in England if he did not toss.' By continual 
practice, however, and following the advice of the old Hambledon 
players, he became as steady as could be wished ; and in the prime 
of his playing very rarely indeed gave a toss, although his balls 
were pitched the full length. In bowling, he never stooped in 
the least in his delivery, but kept himself upright all the time. 


His balls were very little beholden to the ground when pitched ; it 
was but a touch, and up again ; and woe be to the man who did 
not get in to block them, for they had such a peculiar curl that they 
would grind his fingers against the bat ; many a time have I seen 
the blood drawn in this way from a batter who was not up to 
the trick : old Tom Walker was the only exception — I have before 
classed him among the bloodless animals. 

Harris's bowling was the finest of all tests for a hitter, and 
hence the great beauty, as I observed before, of seeing Beldham 
in, with this man against him ; for unless a batter were of the very 
first class, and accustomed to the first style of stopping, he could 
do little or nothing with Harris. If the thing had been possible, I 
should have liked to have seen such a player as Budd (fine hitter 
as he was) standing against him. My own opinion is, that he 
could not have stopped his balls, and this will be a criterion, by 
which those who have seen some of that gentleman's brilliant hits, 
may judge of the extraordinary merit of this man's bowling. He 
was considerably faster than Lambert, and so superior in style and 
finish, that I can draw no comparison between them. Lord Frederic 
Beauclerc has been heard to say that Harris's bowling was one of 
the grandest things of the kind he had ever seen ; but his lordship 
could not have known him in his prime ; he never saw him play 
till after he had had many fits of the gout, and had become slow 
and feeble. 

To Harris's fine bowling I attribute the great improvement 
that was made in hitting, and above all in stopping ; for it was 
utterly impossible to remain at the crease, when the ball was tossed 
to a fine length ; you were obliged to get in, or it would be about 
your hands, or the handle of your bat ; and every player knows 
where its next place would be. 

This long extract is not too long, for it contains a dignified 
study of the bowler. 

This is the perfect Trundler, this is he, 

That every man who bowls should wish to be. 

Harris was admired for * the sweetness of his disposition 
and his manly contempt of every action that bore the character 
of meanness,' and he chiefly bowled for catches, as did Lord 
Frederick Beauclerk. Nyren is no great hand at orthography, 
and he soon comes to speak of a Sussex bowler named Wells. 


This is apparently the Wills, or Willes, who has more credit than 
perhaps he deserves for bringing in round-hand. ' He was the 
first I had seen of the new school, after the Walkers had at- 
tempted to introduce the system in the Hambledon Club.' 
Willes had a twist from leg, and Nyren thinks Freemantle 
showed astonishing knowledge of the game because he went in 
front of his wicket and hit Willes, and ' although before the 
wicket, he would not have been out, because the ball had been 
pitched at the outside of the stump.' A man might play, hours 
on that system ' by Shrewsbury clock,' but I doubt if David 
Harris would have approved of Freemantle's behaviour. 

The student of the evolution of round-hand and over-hand 
bowling now turns to the early exploits of William Lillywhite 
(b. June 13, 1792). Whatever Mr. Willes may have done, 
whatever Tom Walker may have dreamed, William LiHywhite 
and Jem Broadbridge are practically the parents of modern 
bowling. When Lillywhite came out, the law was that in 
bowling the hand must be below the elbow. Following the 
example of Mr. G. Knight, of the M.C.C., or rather going 
beyond it, Lillywhite raised the hand above the shoulder, 
though scarcely perceptible. Lilly white's performances in 1827 
caused much discussion among cricketers and in the ' Sporting 
Magazine/ Letters on this subject are reprinted by Mr. W. 
Denison, in 'Sketches of the Players,' London, 1846. 1 

The last great match of 1827 was between Sussex and 
Kent, with Saunders and Searle given. Mr. Denison, review- 
ing the match at the time, predicted that if round-hand were 
allowed, there would be no driving and no cutting to point or 
slip. This of course is part of Unfulfilled Prophecy. ' Broad- 
bridge and others will shew that they cannot be faced on hard 
ground without the most imminent peril.' As a compromise, 
Mr. Denison was for allowing straight-armed bowling, ' so that 

1 The edition of Nyren's Cricketer's Gtiide, used here, is the fourth, 
London, s. a. I owe it to Mr. Gerald Fitzgerald. Any cricketer who has 
borrowed my cwn copy of the Editio Princeps will oblige me by returning it. 
—A. L. 


the back of the hand be kept under when the ball is delivered/ 
Mr. Steel's chapter on bowling shows what the effect of that 
rule must have been. 

In February, 1828, Mr. Knight published his letters in 
defence of round-hand bowling. There had been, in the origin 
of cricket, no law to restrain the bowlers. About 1804, 
the batting acquired such mastery, and forward play with 
running-in (as Nyren knew) became so vigorous, that Willes 
and Tom Walker tried round-hand. This round-hand was 
'straight armed, and for a time (1818-28) did very well, till 
bowlers took to raising the hand, even above the head.' M.C.C. 
then proclaimed an edict against all round-hand bowling. 
Mr. Knight proposed to admit straight-armed bowling, which 
could not be called 'throwing/ To define a throw was as 
hard then as now — a man knows it when he sees it ; it is like 
the trot in horses. Mr. Knight's proposed law ran, ' The ball 
shall be bowled ; if it be thrown or jerked, or if any part of the 
hand or arm be above the shoulder at the time of delivery, the 
umpire shall call No Ball. 1 

In one of the trial matches (Sept. 1827) it is said that Mr. 
Knight, Broadbridge, and Lillywhite, all bowled high over the 
shoulder. There are no wides in the score. When a man was 
caught, the bowler's name was not given. Lillywhite has thus 
no wicket to his name. 

Mr. Knight's law was discussed at Lord's (May 19, 1828), 
and the word elbow substituted for shoulder. But Lillywhite 
and Broadbridge bowled as before, and found many followers, 
till the M.C.C. passed the law proposed by Mr. Knight. But 
the hand was soon raised, and the extraordinary pace of Mr. 
Mynn (born 1807) was striven for by men who had not his 
weight and strength. These excesses caused a re-enactment of 
the over-the-shoulder law in 1845. 

Lillywhite was now recognised as the reviver of cricket. 
His analysis in 1844 and 1845 gives about 6 J runs for each 
wicket. Round-hand, with a practical license for over-hand, was 
now established; but, as late as i860, a high delivery was a 


rarity. The troublesome case of Willsher ended in permitting 
any height of delivery, and the greatest of all bowlers, Mr. 
Spofforth, sends in the ball from the utmost altitude. 

This is a brief account of the evolution of round and over- 
hand bowling. As to slow and fast bowling, Lord Frederick 
Beauclerk and one of the Walkers were very slow bowlers in old 
days. William Clarke {b. Dec. 24, 1798) was the classical slow 
bowler. Clarke was not a regular lob bowler, but, like Lambert, 
delivered ' about midway between the height of the elbow and 
the strict under-hand, accompanied by a singular peculiarity of 
action with the hand and wrist just as the ball is about to be 
discharged. ! ' He had a tremendous twist, and great spin and 
ingenuity. Perhaps his success was partly due to the rarity of 
slow bowling in his time. Men imitated Mr. Mynn, who was 
as big a man as Mr. W. G. Grace, and a very fast bowler. In 
old underhand times, Brett had a ' steam-engine pace,' and 
later, Browne of Brighton was prodigiously fast. The Bishop 
of St. Andrews remembers seeing a ball of Browne's strike the 
stumps with such force and at such a point that both bails flew 
back as far as the bowler's wicket. That was at Brighton. He 
also remembers how at Lord's, when Browne bowled, all the field 
were placed behind the wicket, or nearly so, that is at slip, leg, 
and long-stop, till Ward went in, who, playing with an upright 
bat, contrived to poke the ball to the off, and Browne himself 
(a tall, heavy man) had to go after it. But this having happened 
more than once, a single field was placed in front. Yet Beld- 
ham, as Mr. Py croft tells, quite mastered Browne, and made 76 
off him in a match. Beldham was then fifty-four. Browne's 
pace was reckoned superior to that of Mr. Osbaldeston. It is 
not easy to decide who has been the fastest of fast bowlers. In 
our own day, I think that Mr. Cecil Boyle, when he bowled for 
Oxford (1873), was the swiftest I have seen, except a bowler 
unknown south of the Tweed, Mr. Barclay, now a clergyman 
in Canada. Mr. Barclay was faster with under-hand than with 
round-hand. Beldham and his comrades played Browne with- 

1 Sketches of the Players, p. 23. 


out pads ; I have seen this tried against Mr. Barclay — the re- 
sults were damaging. Famous names of fast bowlers are Mynn, 
Marcon, Fellowes, Tarrant, Jackson, Freeman, Hope Grant, 
Powys, and Robert Lang. 

The history of bowling precedes that of batting, because 
the batsman must necessarily adapt his style to the bowling, 
not vice versa. He must also adapt it to the state of the 
wickets. There are times when a purely rural style of play, a 
succession of ' agrarian outrages,' is the best policy. Given an 
untrustworthy wicket, good bowling, fielding ground in heavy 
grass, a stone wall on one side, and another wall, with a nice 
flooded burn beyond, on another side, and a batsman will be well 
advised if he lifts the ball over the boundaries and into the 
brook. Perhaps Mr. Steel will recognise the conditions de- 
scribed, and remember Dalbeattie. /in the origin of cricket, 
when the stumps were low, and the Dat a crooked club, hitting 
hard, high, and often must have been the rule. A strong man 
with good sight must have been the pride of the village. When 
David Harris, Tom Walker, Lumpy, Brett, and other heroes 
brought in accuracy, spin, twist, and pace, with taller wickets 
to defend, this batting was elaborated by Beldham and Sueter 
and others into an art., Tom Sueter, first, fathered the heresy of 
leaving the crease, and going in to the pitch or half- volley. l Sir 
Horace Mann's bailiff, Aylward, was the Shrewsbury of an elder 
age. ' He once stayed in two whole days, and got the highest 
number of runs that had ever been gained by any member — 
one hundred and sixty -seven. 7 Tom Walker was a great stick. 
Lord Frederick was bowling to him at Lord's. Every ball 
he dropped down just before his bat. Off went his lordship's 
white, broad-brimmed hat, dash upon the ground (his constant 
action when disappointed), calling him at the same time 'a con- 
founded old beast.' * I doan't care what ee zays,' said Tom, 
whose conduct showed a good deal more of courtesy and self- 
control than Lord Frederick's. Perhaps the master-bat of old 
times was William Beldham from Farnham. He comes into 

1 Nyren, op. cit. p. 50. 


Bentley's 'Cricket Scores 'as early as 1787. The players called 
him ' Silver Billy.' He was coached by Harry Hall, the ginger- 
bread baker of Farnham. Hall's great maxim was ' the left 
elbow well up.' 

From Nyren I extract a description of Beldham's batting : — 

Beldham was quite a young man when he joined the Ham- 
bledon Club ; and even in that stage of his playing, I hardly ever 
saw a man with a finer command of his bat ; but, with the instruc- 
tion and advice of the old heads superadded, he rapidly attained 
to the extraordinary accomplishment of being the finest player that 
has appeared within the latitude of more than half a century. 
There can be no exception against his batting, or the severity of 
his hitting. He would get in at the balls, and hit them away in a 
gallant style ; yet, in this single feat, I think I have known him 
excelled ; but when he could cut them at the point of the bat, he 
was in his glory ; and upon my life, their speed was as the speed 
of thought. One of the most beautiful sights that can be imagined, 
and which would have delighted an artist, was to see him make 
himself up to hit a ball. It was the beau iddal of grace, animation, 
and concentrated energy. In this peculiar exhibition of elegance 
with vigour, the nearest approach to him I think was Lord Frederick 
Beauclerc. Upon one occasion at Mary-le-bone, I remember these 
two admirable batters being in together, and though Beldham was 
then verging towards his climacteric, yet both were excited to a 
competition, and the display of talent that was exhibited between 
them that day was the most interesting sight of its kind I ever 
witnessed. I should not forget, among his other excellencies, to 
mention that Beldham was one of the best judges of a short run I 
ever knew ; add to which, that he possessed a generally good 
knowledge of the game. 

In 1838 Beldham used to gossip with Mr. Pycroft. That 
learned writer gives Fennex great credit for introducing the 
modern style of forward play about 1800 ; this on the evidence 
of Fennex himself (1 760-1839). But probably accurate bowl- 
ing, with a fast rise, on fairly good wickets, must have taught 
forward play naturally to Fennex, Lambert, Fuller Pilch, and 
others It is not my purpose to compile a minute chronicle 
of cricket, to mark each match and catch, nor to chant 


the illustrious deeds ot all famous men. The great name of 
Mr. Ward has been already mentioned. The Bishop of St. 
Andrews, when a Harrow boy, played against Mr. Ward, and 
lowered his illustrious wicket for three runs. 1 Thus, with Mr. 
Ward, we come within the memory of living cricketers. Much 
more is this the case with Mr. Budd, Fuller Pilch, Alfred Mynn, 
Hayward and Carpenter, Humphrey and Jupp. Mr. Mynn 
was the son of a gentleman farmer at Bearstead, near Maidstone. 
His extraordinary pace actually took wickets by storm ; men 
were bowled before they knew where they were. The assiduous 
diligence of Mr. Ward was a match for him. When about to 
meet Mynn, he would practise with the fastest of the ground 
bowlers at Lord's, at eighteen or nineteen yards' rise, so to 
speak. Mr. Ward's great reach also stood him in good stead. 
Mr. Mynn's pace, and the excesses committed by his imitators, 
for some time demoralised batting. Few balls were straight 
(among the imitatores, servum pecus), and men went in to hit 
what they could reach. The joy of getting hold of a leg-ball 
from a very fast bowler, or of driving him, overpowered caution, 
and these violent delights might have had violent ends if 
accuracy had not returned to bowling. In 1843 Mr. Mynn's 
analysis gave 5! a wicket. His average was but 17 an innings. 
Scores were shorter fifty years ago. 2 

My attempt has been to trace the streams of tendency in 
cricket rather than to produce a chronicle — a work which would 
require a volume to itself. Nothing has been said about field- 
ing ; because, however the ball is bowled, and however hit, the 
tasks of catching it, stopping it, and returning it with speed 
have always been the same. True, different styles of batting 

1 It was three or five — I forget which. I know it was the lowest score he 
had that year !— C. W. 

2 Was this so? The long scores caused the introduction of round-hand 
bowling. From among my brother's papers (late Bishop of Lincoln) a letter 
has lately been returned to me which contains the following : — * Christ Church. 
Oxford : May 24, 1831. — Cricket, I suppose, does not interest you ; but you 
may like to know that in three following innings, on three following days last 
week, I got 328 runs. Christ Church has been playing — and beating — the 
University.' — C. W. 


and bowling require alterations in the position of the fielders. 1 
But the principles of their conduct and the nature of their 
duty remain unaltered. One change may be noted. In 
'Juvenile Sports,' by Master Michel Angelo, 2 the author speaks 
of byes and overthrows as 'a new mode,' 'an innovation with 
which I am by no means pleased. It is indeed true that this 
places the seekers out continually on their guard, and obliges 
them to be more mindful of their play ; but then it diminishes 
the credit of the player, in whose hands the bat is, as a game 
may be won by a very bad batsman owing to the inability of 
the wicket-man, or the inattention of the seekers-out.' 

The fallacy of this argument does not need to be exposed. 


No sketch of the history of cricket would be complete with- 
out a note on the fortunes of the (Marylebone Club. This is the 
Parliament of cricket, and includes almost all the amateurs of 
merit. / There is nothing very formal in its construction ; and 
any clubs which please may doubtless arrange among them- 
selves to play not according to M.C.C. rules. But nobody so 
pleases ; and Marylebone legislates practically for countries that 
were not even known to exist when wickets were pitched at 
Guildford in the reign of Henry VIII. Marylebone is the 
Omphalos, the Delos of cricket. 

The club may be said to have sprung from the ashes of the 
White Conduit Club, dissolved in 1787. One Thomas Lord, 
by the aid of some members of the older association, made a 
ground in the space which is now Dorset Square. This was 
the first ' Lord's.' As to Lord, he is dubiously said (like the 
ancestors of Nyren) to have been a Scot and a Jacobite, or 
mixed up, at least, in some way with the '45. Lord was 
obliged to move to North Bank, and finally, in 18 14, to the 

1 My experience, in one respect, is, I suppose, unique. Hitting a leg-ball, I 
alarmed the umpire, who turned round, and I was caught by the wicket-keeper 
off his back ! Naturally enough — but yet— justly ? he gave me out I— C. W. 

3 London, 1776, p. 76. 


present ground. The famous Mr. Ward had played at Lord's 
before this migration ; his first match here was in 1810, and 
he played, more or less, till 1847, being then sixty years of age. 
His bats are said to have weighed four pounds. Mr. Ward 
bought the lease of the ground from Lord in 1825, 'at a most 
exorbitant rate ;' and, in 1830, Dark bought the remainder of 
the lease from him. The first match on our present Lord's, 
or the first recorded, was M.C.C. v. Hertfordshire, June 22, 
1 8 14. In 1825 the pavilion was burned, after a Winchester 
and Harrow match. The burning of the Alexandrian Library 
may be compared to the wholesale destruction of cricket records 
on this melancholy occasion. In 1816 the Club reviewed the 
Laws : the result will be found in Lillywhite's ' Scores,' i. 385. 
* No more than two balls to be allowed at practice when a 
fresh bowler takes the ball before he proceeds.' A great deal 
too much time is now wasted over these practice balls. * The 
ball must be delivered underhanded, not thrown or jerked, 
with the hand below the elbow at the time of delivering the 
ball.' The umpire is to call ' no ball,' 'if the back of the hand 
be uppermost.' As to l.b.w., the batter is out 'if with his foot 
or leg he stop the ball which the bowler, in the opinion of the 
umpire, shall have pitched in a straight line" to the wicket, 
and would have hit it.' 

The names of the Presidents are only on record after the 
fire. Ponsonby, Grimston, Darnley, Coventry are among the 
most notable. The renowned Mr. Aislabie was secretary till 
his death in 1842 • in the pavilion his bust commemorates 
him. Mr. Kynaston and Mr. Fitzgerald, of ' Jerks In from Short 
Leg,' are other celebrated secretaries. In 1868 the Club pur- 
chased a lease of 99 years, at the cost of 11,000/. There have 
been recent additions to the area, and to that celebrated 
monument, the pavilion. 

Lord's is, as all the world knows, the scene, not only of 
Club and of Middlesex matches, but of Eton and Harrow, 
Oxford and Cambridge, and Gentlemen and Players, which is 
also contested at the Oval. Winchester used moreover to play 


Eton here, but the head-masters have long preferred a home 
and home affair. In other chapters these great matches wilJ 
be chronicled and criticised. 

The various epochs in the history of the game may now be 
briefly enumerated by way of summary. First we have the 
prehistoric age, when cricket was dimly struggling to evolve 
itself out of the rudimentary forms of cat-and-dog, and stool - 
ball. This preceded 154-, when we find an authentic mention 
of the name of Cricket. Just about the end of the seven- 
teenth century it was mainly a boys' game. With the Augustan 
age it began to be taken up by statesmen, and satirised by that 
ideal whippersnapper, the ingenious but in all respects un- 
sportsmanlike, Mr. Pope. By 1750 the game was matter of 
heavy bets, and scores began to be recorded. The old Ham- 
bledon Club gave it dignity, and the veterans endured till quite 
modern times dawn with Mr. Ward. Then came the pros- 
perous heresy of round-hand bowling, which battled for exis- 
tence till about 1845, when it became a recognised institution. 
The wandering clubs, chiefly I. Z. and the Free Foresters at 
first, carried good examples into the remoter gardens of our 
country. The migratory professional teams, the United and 
All England Elevens at least, showed the yokels what style 
meant, and taught them that Jackson and Tinley were their 
masters. But the lesson lasted too long. Nothing was less 
exhilarating than the spectacle of twenty provincial players, 
with Hodgson and Slinn, making many duck's eggs, and 
fielding in a mob. ' The first 'ad me on the knee, the next 
on the wrist, the next blacked my eye, and the fourth bowled 
me,' says the Pride of the Village, in ' Punch,' after enjoying 
'a hover from Jackson.' Such violent delights had violent 
ends. The old travelling elevens are extinct, but railways 
have ' turned large England to a little ' field, so to speak, and 
clubs may now meet which of old scarcely knew each other by 
name. The Australian elevens have in recent days given a 
great impulse to patriotic exertions. 


Scotch cricket is a thing of this century. Football and 
golf are the native pastimes of my countrymen, as hurling is of 
Ireland. The Old Grange Club is the M.C.C. of the North. 
The West of Scotland and Drumpellier are other clubs of 
standing. That ever-flourishing veteran, Major Dickens, still 
upholds the honour of Kelso. The Moncrieffs have, been the 
Wards and Budds of Edinburgn, nor will a touching patriotism 
allow me here to omit the name of George Charles Hamilton 
Dunlop. For some reasons Scotland has not been productive 
of bowlers. Professionals are seldom reared there, nor have 
amateurs devoted themselves to the more scientific and less 
popular part of the game. Mr. Barclay has already been 
commemorated for his speed ; a few only will remember Mr. 
Sinclair and Mr. Glassford, who died young, and very much re- 
gretted. Few men have done more for Scotch cricket than Mr. 
H. H. Almond, head-master of Loretto School, which has con- 
tributed several players to the Oxford eleven. An old 'pewter' 
may here congratulate Mr. Almond on the energy with which 
he kept his boys to the mark, and on the undaunted example 
which he set by always going in first. The names of Arthur 
Cheyne, Jack Mackenzie, Edward Henderson, Chalmers, Hay 
Brown, Leslie Balfour, and Tom Marshall are only a few that 
crowd on the memory of the elderly Caledonian cricketer. In 
the Border district, of which more hereafter, the houses of 
Buccleuch and Roxburgh have been great friends of the game, 
and that was a proud day for ' the Rough Clan ' when Lord 
George Scott scored over 160 in the University match of 1887. 
Abbotsford, too, has been well to the front, thanks to the 
Hon. J. Maxwell Scott, and, for some reason, Scotland has 
been occasionally represented by Mr. A. G. Steel, and the Hon. 
Ivo Bligh, known to the local press as ' the Titled Batsman.' 
But these are alien glories et non sua poma. 

Three things are prejudicial to Scotch cricket. First, there 
is the climate, about which more words were superfluous. 
Next, boys leave school earlier than in England, for professions 
or for college. Lastly, the University ' session ' is in the winter 



months, and the University clubs are therefore at a great 
disadvantage. I shall never forget the miraculous wickets 
we tried to pitch on the old College Green at Glasgow, and 
the courage displayed by divinity students in standing up to 
Mr. Barclay there. As for St. Andrews, golf is too much with 
us on that friendly shore, and will brook no rival. 

%• The author of the historical introduction is much indebted 
to the Bishop of St. Andrews, a veteran of the first University 
Match, for his kindness in revising proofs, and adding notes. He 
has also to thank the Viscountess Wolseley for the loan of her 
picture of * Miss Wicket ' ; and Mr. Charles Mills, M.P., for a sight 
of the silver ball of the Vine Club. It was filled with snuff, and 
tossed from hand to hand after dinner ; he who dropped it being 
fined in claret, or some other liquor. 





(By the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton.) 

H E 

art of bat- 
ting constitutes 
to the large ma- 
jority of cricket- 
ers the most en- 
joyable part of 
the game. There 
are three espe- 
cially delightful 
moments in life 
connected with 
games, and only 
those who have 
experienced all 
three can realise 

Fig. x.-The champion. what theSe m °' 

ments are. They 

are d) the cut stroke at tennis, when the striker wins chase 


one and two on the floor ; (2) the successful drive at golf, 
when the globe is despatched on a journey of 180 yards ; (3) 
a crack to square -leg off a half- volley just outside the legs. 
When once the sensation has been realised by any happy 
mortal, he is almost entitled to chant in a minor key a ' Nunc 
Dimittis,' to feel that the supreme moment has come, and that 
he has not lived in vain. 

After what has been said in the foregoing chapter we shall 
here only touch upon the cricket of the past in so far as seems 
necessary to make this dissertation on batting tolerably com- 
plete, and shall then proceed to discuss the principles and 
science of the art as it now exists. 

The shape of the bat in the year 1 746 — which may be taken 
as a beginning, for it was in that year that the first score of a 
match was printed and handed down to posterity, at any rate 
in Lillywhite's ' Scores and Biographies ' — resembled a thick 
crooked stick more than a modern bat. 

From the shape of the bat, obviously adapted to meet 
the ball when moving along the ground, one may infer that 
the bowlers habitually delivered a style of ball we now call a 
'sneak.' How long this system of bowling remained in vogue 
cannot exactly be told. The famous William Beldham, who 
was born in 1766, and lived for nearly one hundred years, is 
reported by Nyren to have said that when he was a boy nearly 
all bowling was fast and along the ground. As long as this 
was the case it is probable that the bat was nothing but a club, 
for if the ball never left the ground the operative part of the 
bat would naturally be at the very bottom, as is usual in clubs. 
The renowned Tom Walker was the earliest lob bowler ; he 
probably took to the style late in life, or about the year 1800, 
and several bowlers, notably the great E. H. Budd, raised the 
arm slightly; but it is believed that the first genuine round-arm 
bowlers were William Lillywhite and James Broadbridge, both 
of Sussex, who first bowled the new style in 1827. That year 
was from this cause a year of revolution in cricket, and the 
shape of the modern bat dates from that period. As a rule, up 

D 2 


to the year 1 800 the style of batting was back. William Fennex 
is supposed to have been the inventor of forward play, and Beld 
ham reports a saying of one Squire Paulett, who was watching 
Fennex play : 'You do frighten me there, jumping out of you) 
ground.' The great batsmen of the early era of cricket were 
Lord Frederick Beauclerk, Mr. Budd, Beldham, Bentley, 
Osbaldeston, William Ward, Beagley, William Lambert, Jem 
Broadbridge, W. Hooker, Saunders, and Searle. The great 
skill of these players, when opposed to under-hand bowling, 
was what determined the Sussex players to alter the style o( 
bowling, and, indeed, it is generally the fact that too great 
abundance of runs raises questions as to the desirability of 
altering rules. 

After the year 1827 the shape of the bat became very like 
what it is now, but it was much heavier in the blade and thinner 
in the handle, which seems to indicate that the play was mostly 
•of the forward driving style, and the great exponent of this 
method of play was the renowned Fuller Pilch. Anyone who 
has the opportunity of handling a bat of this period will find 
that its weight renders it inconvenient for cutting, but suitable 
for forward play. The change from under-hand bowling to 
round-arm having been effected by slow developments makes it 
probable that the style of play was generally forward until the 
under-hand bowling was altogether superseded by round -arm. 
Some bowlers followed the new order of things by changing 
from under to round-arm. Round-arm bowling was at first less 
accurate than under-hand, and consequently all-round hitting 
greatly developed ; and we find Felix, the father of cutting, who 
began play in 1828, chiefly renowned for this hit. Scoring 
greatly diminished when round-arm bowling was thoroughly 
established, and increased again as grounds got better. 

Judging from the scores of that day, the best bat in England 
from 1827 to 1850 was Fuller Pilch, and his scoring would 
compare favourably with that of nearly all modern players till 
1874, with the exception of W. G. Grace. He was a tall man, 
and used to smother the ball by playing right out forward. 


The principle on which his whole play was founded was 
evidently to get at the pitch and take care of the ball before 
breaks, bumps, and shooters had time to work their devilries. 
In order to carry out this method, he used frequently to leave 
his ground, and consequently the famous Wm. Clarke always 
found Pilch a harder nut to crack than any of his other con- 

Clarke's slow balls tolerably well up were met by Pilch, who 
left his ground and drove him forward with a straight bat. 
His master appears to have been the great Sam Redgate, who 
was fast and ripping, and who on one occasion got him out for 
a pair of spectacles, while, on the other hand, twice in his life 
he got over ioo runs against Wm. Lilly white's bowling, con- 
sidered in those days to be an extraordinary feat. After Pilch, 
Joseph Guy, of Nottingham, and E. G. Wenman, of Kent, were 
considered the best ; but several- C. G. Taylor, Mynn, Felix, 
and Marsden, for example — scored largely, and they all passed 
through a golden age of bowling, namely, about 1839, when 
Lillywhite, Redgate, Mynn, Cobbett, and Hillyer all flourished, 
to say nothing of Sir F. Bathurst, Tom Barker, and others. 

From the year 1855, wnen Fuller Pilch left off play, to the 
year 1868, when W. G. Grace burst on the world with a lustre 
that no previous batsman had ever approached, there was, 
nevertheless, a grand array of batsmen — among professionals, 
Hay ward, Carpenter, Parr, Daft, CarTyn, Mortlock, and Julius 
Caesar ; and among amateurs, Hankey, F. H. Norman, C. G. 
Lane, C. G. Lyttelton, Mitchell, Lubbock, Buller, V. E. Walker, 
and Maitland. These are a few of the great names. They are, 
however, surrounded by several almost as renowned, such as 
Stephenson, T. Humphrey, Hearne, Cooper, Burbidge, Griffith, 
and others ; all these, we think, made this era of the game 
productive of more exciting cricket than has been known since. 
1 1 may seem odd, but the overpowering genius of W. G. Grace 
after this time somewhat spoilt the excitement of the game. 
His side was never beaten. Crowds thronged to see him play, 
all bowling was alike to him, and the record of Gloucestershire 


cricket, champion county for some time through his efforts, is 
the only instance of one man practically making an eleven for 
several years. The other Gloucestershire players will be the 
first to acknowledge the truth of this. Gloucestershire rose 
with a bound into the highest rank among counties when 
W. G. Grace attained his position amongst batsmen, a head 
and shoulders above any other cricketer. In his prime 
Gloucestershire challenged and on one occasion defeated 
England ; when he declined, Gloucestershire declined ; in his 
old age she shows signs of renewing her youth, for which all 
credit is due to young Townsend, Jessop, Champain, and Board. 
To return to the period between 1855 and 1868 : the greater 
equality of players made the matches more exciting and 
established a keener because more evenly balanced rivalry. 
The grounds were not so true as those of to-day, and the 
matches were not so numerous ; consequently cricketers were 
not so frequently worn out by the wear and tear of long fielding 
and days and nights of travel as they are now. The long 
individual scores having been less in number and at longer 
intervals, the few great innings were more vividly stamped on 
the memory, and it is doubtful if even the modern 200 runs 
per innings will survive as historical facts longer than Hankey's 
famous innings of 70 against the Players on Lord's, Daft's 118 
in North v South on the same ground, and Hay ward's 112 
against Gentlemen, also on Lord's. 

The bowling during this period was generally fast or 
medium, varied by lobs, but of genuine slow round, like 
that of Peate, Buchanan, Alfred Shaw, and Tyler, there was 
hardly any in first-class matches. To fast bowling runs come 
quicker than they do to slow ; consequently the game was 
of more interest to the ordinary spectator, and there was 
none of that painful slowness, in consequence of the extra- 
ordinary accuracy of modern slower bowling, that is so com- 
mon now, and helps to produce so many drawn matches. 
Though now, in the year 1897, the average bowling pace is 
slower than it was in the sixties, it is nevertheless faster than it 


was in the seventies. The professionals had literally only 
one genuine slow round-arm bowler in those days — George 
Bennett, of Kent — and of course this fact accounted largely 
for the batting style of the period. Wickets being often rough, 
the most paying length for fast bowling was naturally that 
length which gave the ground most chance, and prevented 
the smothering style of play — a little shorter than the blind 
spot, compelling back play over the crease, instead of forward 
play. The best batsmen were great masters of this style of 
play, with which the name of Carpenter is strongly identified. 
To modern players the sight of Carpenter or Daft dropping 
down on a dead shooter from a bowler of the pace of George 
Freeman or Jackson was a wonderful one ; but it is rapidly 
becoming a memory only, for in these days a shooter may be 
said not to exist. Now, in 1897, a wonderful feature of our 
great fast bowlers — pre-eminently Richardson — is not that they 
bowl straighter than Freeman or Jackson, but that they never 
bowl a ball on the legs or outside the legs. The result is that 
orthodox leg hitting, and in particular the smite to long-leg 
with a horizontal bat, and much nearer the ground than a 
square-leg hit, is never seen. During the entire progress of a 
match nowadays, between Notts and Lancashire, or Yorkshire 
and Notts, the unhappy batsman will not get a single ball out- 
side his legs to hit. So great is the accuracy of the bowling, 
that over after over will go by, and not even a ball on his legs 
will soothe his careworn and anxious brain. This accurate 
bowling has caused another change in the way of batting. As 
no ball is bowled on the leg side at all, so it consequently 
follows there is no fieldsman on the on side except a forward 
short-leg and a deep field. The batsman therefore waits till 
the bowler slightly overtosses a ball — whether pitched outside 
the off stump or on the wicket he cares not ; he sweeps it 
round to square leg, where no fieldsman stands, and he makes 
four runs by the hit. In other words, he deliberately ' pulls ' 
it. Twenty years ago, on seeing such a hit, the famous Bob 
Grimston would have shown his emphatic disapproval in a 


characteristic manner. But the match must be won by runs ; 
to attain this object the ball must be hit where there is no 
field, and it is useless to waste energy by hitting the ball to 
every fieldsman on the off side. 

W. W. Read, Stoddart, and F. S. Jackson are all masters 
of this stroke, which revives the drooping attention of the 
crowd and relieves the monotony of the scorers. To all fast 
bowling the cut is a hit largely in vogue, and the perfection to 
which some players arrive with regard to this stroke is a joy to 
themselves and to the spectators. It is, of course, as will be 
explained later on. much easier to cut fast bowling than slow, 
and the heroes of the cut whenever fast bowling is on are, and 
were, always numerous. 

The champion cutter of old times, by universal testimony, 
was C. G. Lyttelton, whose hits in the direction of point are 
remembered by spectators to this day. Tom Humphrey, of 
Surrey, was another great cutter ; and there was a player, 
not of the first rank, who was famous for this hit — namely, 
E. P. Ash, of the Cambridge University Eleven, 1865 and 

The five champion bats of this era — 1855 to 1868 — were, 
in the opinion of the writer, Hayward, Carpenter, Parr, 
Daft, and R. A. H. Mitchell. The scoring of Hayward and 
Carpenter between i860 and 1864 was very large ; both ex- 
celled on rough wickets, and it is on these wickets that genius 
exhibits itself. 

In all times of cricket, until the appearance of W. G. Grace, 
there has been a large predominance of skill amongst the 
professionals as compared with the amateurs. We are talking 
now of batting j in bowling the difference has been still more 
to the advantage of the professionals. The Gentlemen won 
a match now and then, but their inferiority was very great. 
W. G. Grace altered all this ; and from 1868 to 1880 the 
Gentlemen had a run of success which will probably never be 
seen again. It was entirely owing to him, though the Players 
were astonishingly weak in batting from 1870 to 1876 ; but 


nothing could stop the crack, and his scoring in the two 
annual contests was simply miraculous. 

We will now attempt to lay before our readers a more 
detailed exposition of the principles which ought to govern 
sound batting, and a careful observance of which is found in 
the method of every sound player. The first consideration is 
the choice of a bat, and as to this each individual must deter- 
mine for himself what is the most suitable. It is probable that 
a strong man will prefer a heavier bat than a batsman of less 
muscular calibre. In any case the style of play is an impor- 
tant consideration, but the secret of all batting, and especially 
hitting, is correct timing j this is a quality which cannot be taught, 
but this is what makes a weak man hit harder than a strong 
man — the one knows exactly the fraction of a second when all 
that is muscular, all that he has got in wrist and shoulders, 
must be applied, the other does not. 

At the beginning of this century, when the bowling was 
fast under-hand, the bat used was of a style suitable for meeting 
such balls — namely, a heavy blade with great weight at the 
bottom ; for, as already mentioned, the bowling being straight 
and frequently on the ground, driving was the common stroke, 
and for this a heavy blade is best adapted. So now, if a player 
finds that he does not possess a wrist style of play, but a 
forward driving game, he will probably choose a heavier bat 
than the wrist-player j for a forward drive is more of a body 
stroke — that is, the whole muscular strength of the shoulders 
and back is brought into use, and the ball, being fully met, 
gives more resistance to the bat than a ball which is cut. 
This, perhaps, needs a little explanation. Just consider for a 
moment, and realise the fact that a tolerably fast ball, well 
up and quite straight, has been delivered. Such a ball is just 
the ball that ought to be driven. The batsman lunges for- 
ward and meets it with very nearly the centre of his bat, just 
after the ball has landed on the ground, at the time, there- 
fore, when, if there is any spin on it, it is going at its fast- 
est pace. Obviously, therefore, when the pace and weight of 
the ball are taken into consideration, there is great resistance 


given to the lunge forward of the bat. The heavier the blade 
of the bat the better is it able to withstand and resist the 
contrary motion of the ball. As a rule, players are not equally 
good both at the forward driving and the wrist-playing games. 
Some few excel in both, but usually batsmen have preferences. 
Now let us examine the cut — of course we are now discussing 
a ball on the off side of the wicket. A wrist-player will cut a 
ball that the exponent of the driving style would drive, and 
therefore meet with the full, or nearly full, bat. The cutter does 
not meet the ball, for the ball has gone past him before he hits 
it. Take a common long-hop on the off side. The driver 
meets it with a more or less horizontal bat, and hits it forward 
between cover-point and mid-off, or cover-point and point, 
thereby resisting the ball and sending it almost in an opposite 
direction to its natural course. He hits the ball some time before 
it arrives on a level with his body, while the cutter, on the other 
hand, does not hit the ball so soon ; in fact, he hits it when it is 
about a foot in front of the line of the wicket, sometimes almost 
on a level with the wicket. He then, with his wrist, hits it in the 
direction of third man. He does not meet the ball at all, but he 
takes advantage of the natural pace of the ball and, as it were, 
steers it from the normal course towards long-stop, in the direc- 
tion of third man. The whole essence of the distinction lies 
in this fact, that in driving the ball is met directly by the bat ; 
in cutting this is not so ; but the ball is, as it were, helped 
on, only in a different direction. The faster the bowling, the 
harder, therefore, will be the cut. The reader will at once 
see from this that the wrist-player will probably prefer a lighter 
bat than the driving batsman, and a bat that comes up well, as 
it is called, or is more evenly balanced. 

We will now suppose a batsman properly equipped in pads 
and, at any rate, one glove on the right hand, and with a 
bat to his taste ; our next inquiry must be as to his position 
at the wicket. He must remember that, after having chosen 
one position — the most natural and convenient to him— he 
ought to adopt that position invariably ; not alter it from 


day to day. You never see any material alteration in the 
position of any great player, and if anyone takes the very 
necessary trouble to find out the easiest position, he will be 
a foolish man who varies it, as any change must be for the 
worse. There is an old engraving, often seen, of a match 
between Surrey and Kent about the year 1840. Old William 
Lillywhite is about to bowl, and Fuller Pilch is about to play. 
The attitude and position of Pilch were taken by the author of 
1 The Cricket Field ' as a model ; and there is no objection to 
be raised to the position: it is a fair assumption that it was the 
natural and most convenient position for Fuller Pilch himself. 
The author, however, goes on to say that this is substantially 
the attitude of every good batsman. To this we can only rejoin, 
that out of the thousands of batsmen who have played cricket, 
it would be difficult to find two who stand exactly alike. To 
begin with, some stand with their feet close together, others 
have them apart; some indeed so far apart that it almost seems 
as if they were trying to solve the problem of how much length 
of ground can be covered between the two feet. Some stand 
with the right foot just on the leg side of a straight line drawn 
between the leg-stump of the batsman's wicket and the off 
stump of the opposite wicket ; others stand with the right foot 
twelve inches or thereabouts from the leg-stump in the direc- 
tion of short-leg. Players who adopt this position run a risk of 
being bowled off their legs, one would think; but they ought to 
know best ; we should not, however, advise a beginner to adopt 
this attitude. W. G. Grace faces the ball, and there is no inter- 
vening space between his hands whilst holding the bat and 
his legs. If you look at the position of Pilch, you will see a 
considerable interval of distance from the back of his left 
hand and the right leg. There were three notable batsmen — 
namely, A. N. Hornby, W. Yardley, and F. E. R. Fryer — who 
used to throw their left leg right across the wicket so as almost 
to hide it from the view of the bowler. 

Mr. A. J. Webbe stoops very much in his position, while 
some players stand almost at full height ; notably is this the case 



his right foot to fast bowling 

with W. G. Grace. There are, as far as we know, only three 
rules which must be observed in taking up a position. The first 
is (i) stand so that no part of the right foot is in front of the 
wicket or outside the crease ; (2) stand in the attitude most 
natural and convenient to yourself ; (3) do not place the toes of 
the right foot materially nearer the wicket than the heel. The 
first rule is essential, for the good player never ought to move 

If, therefore, any part is in front of 
the wicket, he runs a risk 
of being leg before wicket 
when the ball beats the 
bat ; if his foot is outside 
the crease he is in danger 
of being stumped ; and if 
the toes of the right foot 
are materially nearer the 
wicket than the heel, he 
will find himself in a very 
awkward position, unable 
to get over the ball. Sub- 
ject to these rules, the bats- 
man takes any position he 
pleases. The bat should 
be held firmly with the 
right hand and loosely or 
comparatively loosely with 
the left ; neither hand 
should be tightly clenched. The late Mr. Wm. Ward spoke the 
truth when he told a sculptor who had made a statue of a bats- 
man at guard that he was no cricketer — the wrists were too 
rigid and hands too much clenched. It seems that most players 
lift their bat from the block-hole while the bowler is running 
prior to delivering the ball, and fig. 2 shows W. G. Grace stand- 
ing just before the ball leaves the bowler's hand. His whole 
position is changed from what it was a few seconds before. His 
first position before the bowler has begun his run, is given in the 

Fig. 2. — W. G. Grace ready to receive 
the ball. 


sketch at the head of the chapter. The figure here shows 
him to be standing almost at his full height, his hat suspended 
in the air, and his weight if anything thrown rather on his 
right foot. Most players, however, take up a position and stick 
to it, except that they raise the bat slightly just before the ball 
leaves the bowler's hand. Nature is the best guide. Let every 
player therefore find out the easiest attitude and always adopt it. 
We will now consider the manner in which the bat should 
be held by the hands. This varies in a few trifling particulars 
with different players : but in very rare instances is there any 
substantial difference. The muscles ought not to be in a 
state of rigidity, and whilst the batsman is standing in position 
waiting for the ball the bat should be held firmly, but not 
by any means tightly. The batsman cannot depend on any 
particular ball coming to him ; consequently, while the ball is in 
the air, his mind has to be made up ; he has then to set him- 
self for a stroke determined absolutely by the pace, length, and 
direction of the ball, and there are only a few seconds for him 
both to make up his mind and make the stroke. There is, no 
doubt, a scientific, anatomical reason why quickness of hand 
and muscles is incompatible with rigidity of muscle, but quite 
practicable when the muscles and sinews are in a natural and 
easy state of elasticity ; but any man will find this out for him- 
self if he begins to play. Hold the bat, then, loosely with the left 
hand, nearly at the top of the handle, with the back of the hand 
turned full towards the bowler, the fingers folded round the 
handle, and the thumb lying easily between the first and second 
fingers. The right hand is fixed exactly contrary to the left as 
far as the back and fingers are concerned, for the back is turned 
away from the bowler and the fingers are turned towards him. The 
thumb lies across and rests on the top of the first finger, touching 
the finger about a quarter of an inch from the top on the inside. 
When any sort of hit or block is made the bat at that instant is 
held tightly, and both thumbs are slightly shifted so as to lie on 
and clutch, not the fingers that hold the handle, but the handle 
itself. Whether the hands are high up on the handle or low 


down near the blade depends very much on the style of the 
player. There is no rule on the subject, but we think the old 
motto, * In medio tutissimus ibis,' is good to observe, and the 
middle of the handle is, on the whole, the safest. Some players, 
however — notably Mr. Frank Penn, in his day a tremendous off- 
hitter and altogether a grand bat — hold the bat with the knuckle 
of the first finger of the right hand almost touching the top of 
the blade j and big hitters, rather of the slogging order, as a rule 
hold the bat higher up, with the left hand almost on the top ; 
in fact, they adopt what may be called the * long-handled style.' 
In holding the bat, however, follow the precept given before— 
namely, ascertain the most natural method, and cling to it for 
your cricketing life. 

The actual position at the wicket is the same for both slow 
bowling and fast, with perhaps this trifling difference, that the 
batsman ought not to stand so firmly on the right foot to slow 
as he would to fast. The reason of this will be explained 
hereafter, when we consider the right method of playing slow 
oowling. At present we will confine our attention to playing 
fast bowling, and let us assume that the batsman has taken his 
natural position with his right toe clear of the wicket and that a 
fast right-handed bowler is bowling with hand raised above the 
shoulder and over the wicket. This is the method of bowling 
most in vogue in these days ; in fact, the strict round-arm bowling 
round the wicket, with a curl from leg, is for some inscrutable 
reason now comparatively rare. Why this is so nobody can tell, 
and we believe that some of the present gigantic scoring is partly 
owing to the absence of this sort of bowling. 

However, the popular method will be the first we shall try 
and instruct the batsman to meet successfully, and we will 
suppose that the wicket is fast and true. We will begin with 
laying down one or two rules that must rigorously be observed 
by every player if he wishes to become a first-rate cricketer, 
(i) Never move the right foot when playing fast bowling except 
to cut, or when you want to pull a very short ball. Nobody 
will ever become a first-rate player if he does not strictly ob- 
serve this rule. The spot of ground on which the right foot 


rests is the vantage-point from which every batsman has to 
judge of the direction of the ball, and if he shifts away from 
this, all sorts of faults will crop up, chief of which will be an 
inability to play with a straight or perpendicular bat. He will 
also, if he moves his right foot towards short-leg — which is the 
commonest form this vice takes — find that he will drive balls 
with a crooked bat to the off, when from a proper position he 
would have hit them on the on side. He will also find him- 
self further removed from the offside, and quite unable, there- 
fore, to play with a straight bat on the off stump. These are 
a few of the faults that come from not keeping the right foot 
still. All coaches know that this habit of moving the right leg 
is the fault most commonly found in young players, and it is 
most difficult to remove. This arises from the fact that the 
ball is a hard substance ; the beginner naturally dislikes being 
hit anywhere on the body, and his first and most powerful in- 
stinct is therefore to run away. But many instincts are base 
in their nature, and the young cricketer must realise in this, 
as in other cases, that the old Adam must be put away 
and the new man put on. He will find, as he improves, that 
in these days of true wickets he will not often get hit; the 
bat will, as a rule, protect him, and if he is hit anywhere on 
or below the knee the pads will perform a similar function. 
If he does get hit, well, he must grin and bear it, and try to 
emulate the heroism of some giants of old in ante-pad-and 
glove days, of one of whom, the famous Tom Walker, we read 
that he used to rub his bleeding fingers in the dust, after 
the Mold of those days had performed a tattoo on his 
fingers. (2) Never pull a straight fast ball to leg unless it is very 
short and you are well in. If you miss it, you are either 
bowled out or else you run a great chance of being given out 
leg before wicket. The dead true wickets of these days 
have no doubt made many more batsmen proficient at this 
stroke, but still it is sound to remember that you must have 
got thoroughly used to the pace of the ground before you try 
this stroke. Ranjitsinhji's skill at this stroke is marvellous, but 
few have such supple wrists. (3) Never slog wildly at a ball well 


outside the off stump, but of a good length. This hit also may 
occasionally come off, but there is no trap more frequently laid 
by modern bowlers. Attewell, for example, bowls it so frequently 
that 'the Attewell trap' is becoming a stock phrase, and a 
little consideration will show how dangerous a stroke it is. A 
good length ball is one that it is impossible to smother at the 
pitch, and if it is outside the off stump it has to be played 
with a more or less horizontal bat, if the slog is attempted. 
What must be the consequence ? The ball is not smothered, 
consequently any break, hang, or rise that the bowler or the 
ground may impart to the ball must almost inevitably produce 
a bad stroke, frequently terminating in a catch somewhere on 
the off side. The proper way to play such a ball will be dis- 
cussed later on, but under no circumstances must the ball be 
hit at wildly at the pitch. (4) Keep the left shoulder and 
elbow well forward when playing the ball. It is more important 
in back play than forward, because in forward play the ball is, 
or ought to be, smothered at the pitch, and the value of the left 
shoulder being forward is that you are much more master of the 
ball if it should happen to bump or hang ; besides which, the 
bat cannot easily be held straight unless this rule is observed, 
neither can the full face of the bat be presented to the ball. 
In the case of the shooter, or ball which keeps low after the 
pitch, the movement of the left shoulder towards the left or leg 
side will inevitably make it more difficult to ground or lower 
the bottom of the bat. 

The art of defence — which is the style of play adapted to 
stop the ball, as distinguished from the offensive method, where 
the object is to hit the ball so as to obtain runs — may be roughly 
divided into forward play and back play. The object of all 
forward play is to smother the ball at its pitch ; that is to say, 
the contact of the bat with the ball must be almost simultaneous 
with the contact of the ball with the ground. The player must 
reach out with a straight bat as near to the pitch of the ball 
as is possible. It stands to reason that a tall man will reach 
out much further than a short man, and a bowler, if he is wise, 
will bowl shorter-pitched balls to a tall man than he will to a 


short. Let anybody take a bat and reach forward as far as he 
can, keeping the bat, when it touches the ground at the end 
of the stroke, slanting so that the top of the handle is nearer 
to the bowler than the bottom of the blade. There comes a 
distance when this slant cannot be maintained, and the bat has 
either to be held in a perpendicular position or with the handle 
sloping behind the blade and pointing towards the wicket- 
keeper. Here, then, we come to an invariable rule, viz. never 
play forward to a ball so that you are unable to keep the bat at 
the proper slant, with the handle of the bat further forward than 
the blade. Also, let every player remember that the left foot 
must be placed as far forward as the bottom of the bat, and all 
play, whether forward or back, is really between the two feet, or, 
more strictly speaking, in forward play the bat must not be put 
further forward than the left foot, and in back play not further 
back than the level of the right foot. 

Some old players may very likely not agree with this precept, 
and players of the date of Fuller Pilch constantly had their bat 
a great deal further out than the left foot, which used not to be 
thrown out so far. Mr. C. F. Buller, again, in his day a magnifi- 
cent bat, used to play forward in the same style. But let anyone 
take a bat and throw out his left foot to the fullest extent ; he 
will find that the bat ought not to go any further if the proper 
slant be maintained, and he will find also that he has greater 
command over the ball in this position than in Fuller Pilch's. 
Look at the position in fig. 3, and you will see that the bat 
has come down strictly on a level with the left foot. That 
a greater command is obtained by this method cannot be 
proved in writing, but anyone who tries the old and the new 
style will find that the new is preferable as far as command 
of the ball is concerned. We are not implying that the great 
players of the old style were bad players because they played 
in the contrary way, for great players rise above rules and play 
by the force of their greatness ; but we are chiefly concerned 
with the ordinary mortal, and our advice is, throw the left leg 
right out and play to the level of the left foot. Some good 
players maintain that, as the shooter comes so seldom nowa- 



days, it is wasting power to ground the bat when playing for- 
ward, it being sufficient if it is placed according to circumstances, 
varying with the state of the ground. This is no doubt true when 
the wickets are hard, but if the miraculous should happen and 
a shooter come, the batsman is out, and on soft wickets they 
still come. Fig. 3 illustrates grounding the bat in forward play, 
and fig. 14, at the end of this chapter, illustrates playing forward 
without grounding. 

Fig. 3. — Forward play. 

The ball which is too short for the player to play forward 
to with his bat at the proper slant must be played back and 
not forward. To be a good judge of a ball's length is a source 
of strength in any player, and a strictly accurate player seldom 
makes the mistake of playing forward when he ought to play 
back, and vice versd. In cricket, however, poor human nature is 
apt to err oftener perhaps than in most walks of life, and the 
question may now be asked, What is the batsmen to do when 
he finds himself playing forward, but unable to smother the 
ball at the pitch ? He has made a mistake ; how is he to get out 


of the difficulty ? Let it be remembered that we are at present 
only concerned with a fast and true wicket, the play on a slow 
tricky wicket being so different that it will be noticed sepa- 

Let us assume, then, that the batsman is forward in the 
position here shown, but that he finds he cannot reach far 
enough to smother the ball at the pitch. On a fast wicket 
there is no time to rectify the error by getting back and play- 
ing the ball in the orthodox manner ; and yet the batsman must 
do something or he will be bowled out. There are three 
courses open to him. (1) He must trust to Providence and a 
good eye, and take a slog, or adopt what a humorous cricketer 
once called 'the closed-eye blow,' in which case, if hit at 
all, the ball will probably be hit into the air, but perhaps out 
of harm's way, or, as is quite as likely, into a fielder's hands. 
The famous E. M. Grace, who is blessed with as good an eye as 
any cricketer, frequently plays this stroke with success. (2) He 
may adopt what lawyers would call the cy-pres doctrine ; 
in other words, though he ought to play forward and smother 
a ball, he may at the same time play forward and not smother 
the ball, which may hit the bat nevertheless. The dangers of 
this play are obvious to every cricketer, for it leaves him at 
the mercy of the ball that bumps, hangs, or turns. Modern 
grounds are so good that this stroke is far safer than it used 
to be ; for in the majority of instances the ball comes straight 
on, and only the experienced observer sees that the batsman 
comes off with flying colours owing to the excellence of the 
ground rather than to his skill. (3) He may, after he has got 
forward and perceived his error, effect a compromise and per- 
form what is sometimes called a ' half-cock stroke.' This stroke 
does not require a violent shuffling about of the legs and feet, 
which are placed as they would be while playing forward, 
but, instead of the arms and hands reaching forward, they are 
brought back so as to hold the bat quite straight over, or a 
little in front of, the popping crease. This position and style 
of play may be observed in fig. 4, and it is worth a careful 
for, in our opinion, it is the proper way for 

e 2 


a man to extricate himself out of the difficulty he has been led 
into by misjudging the length of the ball. Nobody can play 
a ball in this way more skilfully than W. G. Grace, and the 
figure shows him in the act of thus playing to a ball which is 
on the blind spot — that is, either adapted for forward or back 
play, and therefore eminently qualified for over the crease 
play, a compromise between the two. The merit of this style 
of play is that it gives the batsman time to watch the ball, and 
if it should bump or turn he may alter his tactics to meet it, 

whereas by the second 
method his play is fixed 
and cannot be altered, 
and the awkward hanging, 
bumping, or twisting ball 
beats him. Practise by 
all means this half-cock 
stroke ; on fast grounds 
it may be found more 
useful than even the 
orthodox back play ; for 
in back play, unless the 
ball is very short, the 
pace of the ground may 
beat a man, especially 
when he first goes in and 
has not got accustomed 
to the pace. The golden rules to guide the beginner in playing 
forward may be very briefly stated, (i) Play forward when 
the ball is fairly well pitched up, but remember that the faster 
the bowling and the faster the wicket the more frequently will 
forward p'ay be the safer style of play. (2) Keep the bat quite 
straight and the left shoulder and elbow well forward. (3) Get 
as near to the pitch of the ball as possible. (4) Do not put 
the bat further forward than the level of the left foot, which 
ought to be thrown right forward. 

It is often a doubtful question whether a straight drive for- 
ward is what is technically a drive or hit, or mere forward play. 

Fig. 4. — ' Half-cock ' or over the crease play. 


Of course, when the batsman is well set he may hit as hard as he 
can to a straight half-volley ; but there are many players whose 
forward play is so powerful that it practically amounts to a drive. 
Stoddart's forward play frequently makes mid-off tremble, and 
the same used to be said of Ford and several other players. 

But to the beginner again : until you are well set, do not let 
all your strength go out to any straight ball ; if you do, you will 
lose more than you gain. On Lord's, for instance, a hit over 
the ropes can only realise four, the same as a hit under the 
ropes ; you will very likely, therefore, score as many for a 
straight hard bit of forward play as you will for a regular swipe. 

When the art of back play to fast bowling is discussed, the 
converse of what has been said about forward play is true, 
viz. that as the faster the ground the more balls ought to be 
played forward, so under the same circumstances will fewer 
balls be played back. As a general rule, it may be observed 
that strong-wristed players play more back than batsmen who 
play chiefly with their arms and shoulders. A weak-wristed 
player playing back on a very fast wicket will frequently be late, 
and either miss the ball altogether or else half-stop it, in 
which latter case it may dribble into the wicket. The value 
of a strong wrist is that the batsman can dab down on a ball 
and do the feat in a far shorter space of time than a shoulder- 
and-arm player. The difference between a strong wrist and a 
weak wrist in playing back is a little similar to what is observed 
in an altogether different line. Look at a great underbred cart- 
horse with a leg like a weaver's beam, and then look at the 
real thoroughbred with its slim proportions ; at first sight it 
appears that a kick from the cart-horse will inflict much greater 
damage than a kick from the thoroughbred. People who are 
learned in horses, however, inform us that the contrary is the 
case, and the greater weight of the leg of the cart-horse is 
more than counterbalanced by the far more rapid and sudden 
movement of the thoroughbred. The bat wielded by a player 
with a strong wrist goes through the air like lightning, and 
comes down on the ball far quicker and harder than a ponder- 
ous stroke from the arms, and shoulders of the batsman with 


no wrist action. Perhaps the champion back-player of the 
•century was Robert Carpenter, of Cambridgshire and United 
All England renown, whose back play on Lord's to the terrific 
fast bowling of Jackson and Tarrant will never be forgotten by 
those who beheld it. 

A back style of play does not smother the ball at the pitch, 
but plays at the ball when its course after contact with the 
ground is finally determined, and a careful watching of the ball 
ds therefore of the highest importance. It is bad ever to assume 
that, because a ball has pitched on a line with the off stump, 
therefore you are safe if you protect the off stump only, on 
the assumption that the ball is going on straight. The ball may 
break back, and in order to ascertain that it has done so, and 
to shift your bat to guard the middle and leg stumps, you 
must carefully watch the ball. Apart from breaking or curl- 
ing, the ball may shoot or bump j in either case the batsman 
has only his eye to guide him, and the wrist has to obey the 
eye. Fig. 5 represents ' back play ' to a bumping ball. Some- 
times a ball may be so short that if the batsman has got his 
eye well in, and is thoroughly accustomed to the pace of the 
ground, he may by a turn of the wrist, keeping the left shoulder 
and elbow well forward, steer the ball through the slips. The 
beginner, however, must be careful to attempt nothing but 
the orthodox forms of play ; he is not W. G. Grace or Shrews- 
bury and such-like, who, intheir turn, do not attempt exceptional 
feats until they are well set. The ball ought to be met with the 
full face of the bat, and under no circumstances ought the ball 
to be allowed to hit the bat, which must be the propeller, not 
the propelled. Mind to respect and carefully follow out the 
two great commandments — never to move the right foot, and 
to keep the left shoulder forward and left elbow up. The 
number of hours that a youngster has to be bowled at before 
that fatal right foot can be relied upon to keep still is prodi- 
gious ; but the bat cannot be straight if the body is gravitating 
towards the direction of short leg while the ball is in the air. 
To a very short ball different methods of play may be adopted. 
The one alluded to above, the steering of the ball through the 



slips, is not often attempted, and a safer method would be to 
try and come heavily down on the ball and force it past the 
fields for two or three runs. This is a safe stroke, much safer 
to adopt than the other. The bat must be straight, and it is 

Fig. 5. — ' Back play ' to a bumping ball. 

wise not to let your whole strength go out, for one or two con- 
tingencies may arise for which the player ought to be prepared. 
In the first place, the ball may shoot, and the crisis must be 
met accordingly. Now, if the whole of the strength and all the 


faculties of a batsman are bent towards the carrying out of 
one particular stroke, there will be no reserve left to provide 
for any other contingency, for the muscles will be wholly set 
for one stroke, and one stroke only, and the player will infallibly 
be late if the ball should keep a little low. Of course, on a 
great many grounds in these days the chances of such con- 
tingencies are reduced almost to a minimum on account of 
the excellence of modern wickets ; but still we have to inform 
the reader what may happen, not only what happens commonly. 
Some few players rise superior to grounds, and though of course 
they can get many more runs on easy wickets, still they show 
good cricket when the wicket is in favour of the bowler. 

The prevalence of easy wickets is not, in our opinion, an un- 
mixed blessing. You may go and watch a match when the ground 
is as hard as iron and as true as truth, and see a magnificent 
innings played by some batsman. The same player on a bowler's 
wicket is not less uncomfortable than the proverbial fish out 
of water. A man may be a lion on a lawn, but a mere pigmy 
when the ground is not a lawn. There are a great many of 
these lions on lawns in these days, and to hear them all with 
one consent begin to make excuse when they have been bowled 
out on a crumbling wicket is very amusing. The ball hung, 
or it kept low, or ■ broke back a foot, I assure you, dear boy. 
W. G. in his best days wouldn't have been near it. 5 In his 
best days, and almost in his worst, Mr. Grace would have often 
played it, and so would Steel, Shrewsbury, and one or two others 
— planets among the stars, to watch whom getting thirty runs 
out of a total of eighty on a difficult wicket is far more enjoy- 
able to a skilled spectator than to see the hundreds got on ABC 
wickets. The chances that on a hard smooth wicket the very 
short ball will do anything abnormal is, nowadays, reduced to 
a minimum. But still it may happen, and it is therefore wise 
to have in reserve a little strength and a little elasticity. You 
can play very hard, nevertheless, and for this hard forcing stroke 
off a short straight ball W. Yardley, the late B. Pauncefote, 
H. C. Maul, and F. G. J. Ford have never been surpassed. 

The ball most to be dreaded for the forcing stroke is the 


hanging ball, which stops and does not come on evenly and 
fast to the bat. The batsman will fail to time the ball, with 
the almost certain consequence that the bat will go on and the 
ball will be hit from underneath, and up it will go. The advice 
that has been given to keep a slight reserve of strength to pro- 
vide against such contingeacies as the hanging ball has the 
same force now. If you have not altogether let the whole 
force go out, you will have a better chance of doing the correct 
thing to a ball of this description — namely, to drop the bat and 
allow the ball to hit it, the exact opposite of your original in- 
tention. This is an exception to the general rule that the bat 
should hit the ball, and not the ball the bat. 

In all cases a quick and correct eye will enable its owner 
to come out of the difficulty with flying colours, and any rules 
that may be laid down will be utterly useless to him who puts 
his bat just where the ball is not, but where his inaccurate eye 
thinks it is. If a youth with the best intentions, but with a 
false and crooked eye, after reading and thoroughly compre- 
hending every rule directing how every ball ought to be played, 
stands up and tries to play cricket, what will be the result ? 
He may even have courageously learnt to pin his right foot 
firmly to the ground ; but, notwithstanding this, the result of his 
efforts will be that, though all proper and necessary postures 
may be assumed, he will be bowled out, for the bat, except 
by a lucky chance, will always be in the wrong place, though 
held quite straight. If cricket could be played with no ball, 
the careful eyeless cricketer would shine ; but the introduction 
of that disturbing element dashes all his hopes to the ground. 

There is a ball that in these days more frequently than any 
other succeeds in bowling people out, and that is the familiar 
'tice' or 'yorker.' This is nothing else than a ball right up, that 
pitches in fact near the block-hole, but is not a full pitch. 
This ball ought to be met by the bat just when it touches the 
ground, and the bat ought to come down very heavily on the 
ball. It is a little difficult to understand why this ball is so 
frequently fatal, as it comes straight up and only requires a 
straight bat and correct timing. Probably most batsmen hope 

, 58 CRICKET. 

that the eagerly-looked-for half-volley has at length come ; this 
induces them to lay themselves out for a smite, and when they 
see their mistake it is too late to alter the tactics. Others, on 
the contrary, think that a full-pitch is coming, and advance 
their bat to meet it ; the result is, the ball gets underneath it. 
In fact, the length of the ball is not correctly judged, and the 
batsman is caught in two minds. A bowler who is in the habit 
of sending down 'yorkers' is fond of doing so the first ball after 
a new batsman comes in, and if a batsman is known to be of a 
nervous temperament there is no better ball to give in the 
first over. It may be here said, however, that it is next door to 
impossible to bowl a ' yorker ' to some batsmen. W. G. Grace, 
for instance, seems always to be able to make a full-pitch of this 
ball, and a fourer often results. It is obvious that if a ball pitches 
near or on a level with the block-hole when the batsman is 
standing still, it ought to be easy to make it a full-pitch by step- 
ping out to meet it. Mr. Grace does this even to fast bowling. 

Having endeavoured to the best of our ability to enun- 
ciate a few principles as to defensive tactics, we will now try 
and discuss offensive tactics, or hitting. A curious feature 
of the present day is that new hits have come into existence. 
These have not sprung up because they were not occasionally 
brought off in earlier days, but formerly when they were the 
batsman used to apologise to the bowler for having wounded 
his feelings, and a sort of groan used to be heard all round, as 
if there had been some gross violation of a cricket command- 
ment. The grounds have improved to such an extent that 
bowlers have had to resort to new tactics to effect the grand 
object of all bowlers — namely, to get wickets. 

A fast bowler has one system of tactics, a medium and 
slow bowler another. On hard level wickets a fast bowler in 
these days is very apt to bowl short on the off stump and try 
and make the ball bump, and to cram a lot of fields in the 
slips, while the wicket-keeper stands back. The sort of ball 
that bowls a man out is frequently a ' yorker.' This is not the 
perfection of bowling, it is a bad style that the modern perfect 
wicket has caused to come in. A bowler who keeps a splendid 



length with really scientific methods, like Hearne, has his 
reward in uncertain weather and on catchy wickets, but the 
baked smooth wickets of modern-day cricket produce such 
bowlers as Jessop and Jones the Australian, who mainly bowl 
for catches in the slips — and who can blame them ? Slow 
bowlers have to sacrifice accuracy and length to get twist or 
break like Trott, the Australian captain, and Hartley the 
Oxonian, and Wainwright ; this is also because the perfect 
wickets will not allow the combination of length and break. 
So the bowlers have to 
cultivate an abnormal 
break, which cannot be 
done without the sacri- 
fice of length. 

Of all hits, the most 
fascinating to the intelli- 
gent spectator is the cut. 
This requires a very 
strong use of the wrist, 
and, like all wrist strokes, 
charms the spectator 
by accomplishing great 
results at the expense of 
apparently little effort. 
Cricket reporters of the 
present day are very apt 
to call any hit that goes 
in any direction between cover-point and long-slip a cut, and 
thereby make the term include both snicks and off drives. 
This is a mistake, as nearly every cricketer can sometimes 
make an off drive, and all can snick the ball, even the worst ; 
indeed, with some it is the only stroke they seem to possess, 
but there are many who have hardly ever made a genuine cut 
in their lives. The real genuine cut goes to the left side of 
point — assuming that point stands on a line with the wicket — 
it is made with the right leg thrown over, and its severity 
depends largely on the perfectly correct timing of the ball. 

Fig. 6. — Gunn cutting. 



The ball is hit when it has reached a point almost on a line 
with the wicket, and the length of the ball is rather short ; if far 
up, it is a ball to drive and not to cut. The bat should hit the 
ball slightly on the top, and the most correct cutting makes 
the ball bound before it gets more than six yards from the 
player. Figs. 6 and 7 show Gunn and Shrewsbury in the 
position proper for cutting. It is a mistake to suppose 
that the right leg should be thrown over a long way ; it is 
sufficient if the foot be put in front of the off stump. When 

the player is well in and 
has thoroughly got the 
pace of the ground, he 
very often makes what 
may be called a clean 
cut ; that is to say, he 
hits with a bat quite hori- 
zontal to the ball, and not 
over it. This produces a 
harder hit, as the force 
is wholly directed towards 
sending the ball in the 
proper direction, and not 
hard on the ground. It 
is not so safe, because, if 
the ball should bump, the 
bat, not being over the 
ball, may hit its lower side and send it up. Therefore be 
careful to hit over, and sacrifice some of the severity, if you 
wish to play a safe game. 

Some careful players would hit over the ball even after they 
have scored one hundred runs, and we have never seen Shrews- 
bury, for instance, cut in any other way. In the figure the 
ball must be presumed to lie rather low, for it is certain that 
he is following his invariable custom of getting over the ball. 
In any case we should never recommend the clean cut to any 
but the best players, and that only on a perfect wicket and 
when they are well set. If you are in the position to cut and 

Fig. 7. — Shrewsbury cutting. 


the ball should bump, it is wise to leave it alone, for the 
danger of being caught at third man is very great. We have 
seen lusty hitters get right under a bumping off ball and send 
it high over third man's head, but it is a perilous stroke, and is 
not correct cricket. If the ball, on the other hand, keeps a 
bit low after the pitch, it is a most effective stroke to come 
heavily down on it ; if the force is put on the ball at the right 
moment it will go very hard, and may be called a 'chop.' 
Messrs. K. J. Key and O'Brien, who are strong players from 
every point of view, excel at this stroke, and they hit the 
ground at the same time as the ball with a great power of 
wrist. It is useless for anybody to hope to cut well unless he 
has both a strong wrist and the power of timing. 

The question now arises, What is the player with a weak 
wrist to do with a ball that a strong-wristed man cuts ? Some 
would say that if he cannot cut in the orthodox vigorous way 
he ought at any rate to go as near to it as he can, and if he 
cannot make a clean cut for four, at least he should content 
himself with two. We think, however, there is for such players 
a more excellent way. In the cut we have been describing 
the right foot is shifted across : suppose the player now moves 
his left foot, not across, but simply straight forward to a ball 
that is in every way suitable to cut ; let him then wait till the 
ball has gone just past his body, and then hit it with the full 
force of his arms and shoulders and with as much wrist as he 
has got. The ball will naturally go in the same direction as 
the orthodox cut, and quite as hard. The player must stand 
upright, and must especially be careful not to hit the ball before 
it has passed his body. If he does this off a fast long hop, he 
will bring off a vulgar sort of stroke, which cannot go so hard as 
the ball hit later, because there is greater resistance to the bat ; 
in the correct way the bat hits the ball partly behind it and, as 
it were, helps it on in its natural course, whereas at the incor- 
rect moment the ball has to be thumped in order to send it in 
an exactly opposite direction from that in which it is going 
before meeting the bat. 

In our judgment coaches ought to teach all beginners this 



stroke whenever they find weakness of wrist. The body is 
put in such a way as to compensate for a weak wrist, and if 
anyone takes up this position with a bat in his hand he will 
find that the stroke partakes of the qualities of a drive more 
than of a cut. Young players are generally rather impatient, 
and very apt to hit the ball before it reaches the level of the 
body, and this fault must be removed. 

Let us now discuss the leg hit — most glorious of hits — where 
every muscle of the body may safely be exerted ; for if you 

miss it the ball is not 
straight, so you cannot 
be bowled, and the 
harder the hit the less 
chance is there of being 
caught, at any rate in 
first-class matches in 
these days of boundaries. 
Bowling having become 
more accurate, there is 
not half so much leg 
hitting now as there used 
to be, and in the present 
day you hardly ever hear 
of a batsman known for 
his hitting as George 
Parr was formerly, as 
also Mr. R. A. H. 
Mitchell, and several 

There are plenty of men who can hit to leg, but in these 
days they do not often get a chance, and it is a rare event 
nowadays to see any fieldsman standing at the old-fashioned 
position of long-leg. There is generally a field stationed 
against the ropes to save four byes when a fast bowler is on, 
who can also stop leg snicks from going to the ropes ; but, to 
carry the illustration farther, as in leg hitting there is no George 
Parr, so in fielding at long leg there there is no Jack Smith of 

Fig. 8. — Old-fashioned sweep to leg. (Gunn.) 


Cambridge. It is rapidly dying out. In a match which we 
ourselves saw at Sheffield in 1887, between Notts and Yorkshire, 
for a whole day and a half there was not one genuine leg smack 
except off lobs, and at no time was a field placed there. This 
is hard for the batsman, but it is even harder for the spectators, 
who love to see a grand square-leg hit. George Parr's leg hit, 
for which he was unrivalled, was the sweep to long-leg off a 
shortish ball that many modern players would lie back to and 
play off their legs. George Parr would extend his left leg 
straight forward, and sweeping round with a horizontal bat, 
send the ball very hard, and frequently along the ground. 
This hit has really totally disappeared in these days. When 
George Parr played he used to punish terrifically bowlers like 
Martingell, of Surrey and Kent, who relied on a curl from leg 
and bowled round the wicket — a most effective style, naturally 
producing, however, many leg balls. It is all the other way 
now, and it may be taken for certain that for every leg ball 
you see now in first-class matches you saw ten or twenty in 
former days. However, young players in schools are certain 
to get plenty of convenient balls to hit, so they must remember 
to throw out the left leg and hit as near to the pitch as possible 
and as hard as they can. The ball may start in the direction 
of square-leg, but its natural bias after it has gone a certain 
distance will be towards long-leg or behind the wicket, and the 
fieldsman must remember this, or he will find the ball fly away 
behind him on his right side. Be very careful never to try 
this stroke to balls that are on the wicket, or even nearer the 
wicket than four inches at least. If it is within that distance it 
is a ball to drive, and not to hit to leg. Fig. 8 shows Gunn 
carrying out this stroke, and the batsman may put his left leg 
in front of the wicket if he is certain the ball did not pitch 
straight. This hit ought only to be attempted when the ball 
is short of a half-volley. If the ball is a half-volley or at any 
rate well up, the proper hit is in front of the wicket or to square- 
leg, and with a vertical, not a horizontal bat. In this hit, 
how far to throw out the left leg depends on the length of the 
ball ; the batsman may even sometimes have to d«aw it back a 

6 4 


little and stand upright and face the ball if it is well up. There 
is no hit that can be made harder than this to square-leg, 
and there have been many records of gigantic square-leg hits. 
Some hitters have sent the ball as far by the lofty smack 
straight over the bowler's head, but more batsmen can gene- 
rally^ farther to square-leg, and only a short time ago Mr. 
Key sent a ball right out of the Oval. In years gone by Lord 
Cobham and R. A. H. Mitchell were renowned for their square- 
leg hitting, as was Carpenter also. There is no very special 
rule to be observed for this hit, except that the ball must be 
on the legs or just outside them, and not straight, or within 

four or five inches of the 
leg stump. If the ball 
is tolerably wide on the 
leg the bat will be more 
horizontal as it hits the 
ball, which will in con 
sequence go sharper, and 
vice versa, if the ball is 
just crooked enough to 
hit; it will, when hit, go 
more straight, and be 
called by the cricket re- 
porters an ' on drive,' 
though it is a square-leg 
hit. Fig. 9 is supposed to represent W. G. Grace hitting to 
square-leg, and the reader must assume that the fieldsman is 
running to field the ball going on a line or in front of the 
wicket, and not behind it. 

Some players there are who never seem to hit at any ball, 
but push it all along the ground, and for this purpose they 
get farther over the ball, and simply use the weight of the body, 
using the arms and shoulders but little. 

This is -an eminently safe game, but to these players we 
would only observe that they deprive themselves of the 
glorious sensation, alluded to at the beginning of this chapter, 

Fig. 9.— Square-leg hit. (W. G. Grace.) 


which comes when a ball is hit with all the force that nature can 
supply and a fine driving bat can supplement. Cricket is a 
game ; the primary object of games is to give pleasure to the 
players, and it is quite impossible that the same amount of keen 
gratification can await the stick who never hits as is realised by 
the man who, though he may only be at the wickets half the 
time, yet in that time makes at least ten great hits that will 
realise forty runs. There is, however, a good length ball on the 
legs to which this push can be usefully applied if the batsman 
is one of the numerous class of cricketers who cannot make 
use of the sweep to leg. This stroke is made by slightly moving 
out of the ground, or rather, the whole weight of the body being 
inclined forward the right foot is dragged forward also. This 
may seem to violate a cardinal rule laid down before — that the 
right foot should never be moved. It must be remembered 
that the reasons why the right foot should not be moved 
mainly apply when the foot is moved in front of the wicket or 
towards short-leg. It is invariably wrong to go out of your 
ground when the fast ball is straight or on the off side, for 
in both these instances, if you miss the ball, even if it does not 
hit the wicket, you are under the risk of being stumped. But 
to move out of your ground to a fast ball on your legs practically 
lays you open to no danger of being stumped, for if you should 
miss the ball you will stop it with your legs. Now imagine 
yourself utterly unable to sweep the ball to leg as George Parr 
used to do, and receiving a ball that you cannot reach at the 
pitch so as to hit with a straight bat — in other words, rather a 
short ball — what are you to do ? If the ball is very short you will 
probably get back, bring your left foot on a line with, and close 
to, the right, and try either to make the ball glide off your bat 
to long-leg or play it with a full face for a single in front of short- 

Fig. 10 shows W. G. Grace attempting the glide, and ap- 
parently he has hardly moved either leg ; presumably, there- 
fore, the ball is not very short, but only just too short to hit. 
This is a stroke in which W. G. Grace excels, as indeed he 




does in most others ; but it is a dangerous one unless the left 
elbow is kept well up, for otherwise, if the ball bumps, you 
will find your bat sloping backwards and the ball will go up. 

We must now think of the proper way to play a ball on the 
legs that is not short enough for the batsman to play back to 
in this way, though, on the other hand, it cannot be hit to 
square-leg with a straight bat. The batsman also, on account 
of some natural disability, has always been unable to learn 
the secret of the George Parr sweep. This sort of ball must 
be played forward, and, if necessary, the batsman may even 

leave his ground and 
push it in front of short 
leg. As has been said 
before, if he should 
miss the ball his legs 
will save him from be- 
ing stumped. The ball 
must be smothered as 
far as possible and 
pushed on in front of 
short-leg, and the reason 
why it is not hit harder 
is simply because you 
cannot quite get at the 
pitch, and if, therefore, 

Fig. io.—' The glide.' (W. G. Grace.) you n j t hard at it, you 

would probably sky the ball. The bat must be kept at the pro- 
per slope: as the body is lunging forward a great deal of impetus 
will be given to the hit by the mere weight of the body, and the 
ball will frequently find its way to the ropes. This play is most 
useful when opposed to left-handed bowlers, for then the ball is 
apt to follow the arm and come straight in the direction of the 
batsman's left hip. The famous trio of Uppingham cricketers, 
Messrs. Patterson, Lucas, and D. Q. Steel, were very strong in 
this stroke, and in an innings of over a hundred which Mr. Pat- 
terson played at Lord's in 1876 against Oxford a large propor- 


tion of his runs were made in this way. In ancient days many 
balls on the leg side used to be played by a now practically obso- 
lete stroke called the 'draw,' which consisted of an ugly lifting up 
of the left leg and letting the ball glide off the bat between the 
legs towards long-leg. It was as much part of the repertoire of 
a player of the old style as a cut or a drive, but it has utterly gone 
out of fashion as a stroke to be learnt, simply because it had no 
further effect than the glide off the bat as now practised ; the 
modern style has also the additional advantage of being more 
elegant, and there is less chance of the ball hitting the foot. 
The famous Jemmy Grundy used frequently to play this stroke, 
and his mantle appears to have descended on some younger 
Nottingham players, for at the present day they sometimes 
use it. It used to be brought off occasionally by the famous 
Richard Daft, and was in fact the only stroke of this graceful 
and most correct player that was not elegant. As we have now 
got on the subject of the draw, we may as well describe the 
other sort of obsolete draw, which was performed by just touch- 
ing the ball with the bat quite straight, but with its left side 
turned towards the wicket-keeper, or what soldiers would call 
left half- face, held some way behind the body. Tom Hearne 
used to be great at this sort of draw, but it is even more 
entirely gone out of fashion as a stroke than the other style. 
The same effect is produced by what is frequently seen — namely, 
a batsman only just snicking a ball off the leg stump, or just 
touching it, leaving the spectator uncertain whether the ball 
has been played or has hit the wicket. Tom Hearne, who was 
the last player who used to practise this stroke methodically, 
was in the habit of jumping with both feet towards short-leg, 
and leaving the bat in the correct position for the draw ; and 
not unfrequently he was caught at the wicket owing to the ball 
not being turned sufficiently j sometimes, though not often, 
if the bound towards short-leg happened to be a little too much 
in front, he used to be stumped. This stroke necessitated 
moving the right leg towards short-leg, and it is on this ground 
mainly that we contend that it is not sound cricket ; but, as has 

F 2 



before been stated, it is now quite obsolete, and to imagine it 
you must also imagine yourself in the days of tall hats, pads 
under the trousers, and braces holding up a curious type of 
pantaloon, such as the late Mr. Burgoyne, treasurer of the 
M.C.C., used to wear up to the day of his death. The play 
shown in fig. 1 1 is made by drawing back the left foot, coming 
hard on to the ball, and forcing it in the direction of short-leg. 
In our judgment, this is the right play for all short balls on the 
legs, for the ball is near to the body and consequently to the 

eye ; you have therefore 
great facility in placing it, 
and you have also the bat 
at a proper angle. It is 
more correct than the stroke 
shown in fig. 10, for there if 
the ball should bump it will 
run up the shoulder of the 
bat, and possibly get caught 
by the wicket-keeper, short- 
slip, or even point and 
short-leg, and we have seen 
several instances of the ball 
hitting the bat, not in the 
front but at the side of 
the bat. In the former play 
the ball has to hit the bat, 
in the latter the bat hits the ball, and, according to the fancy 
of the batsman, can either be hit in front of short-leg or be 
suffered to glide towards very sharp long-leg. The figure, how- 
ever, does not quite convey the impression that the ball is 
being hit hard. The bat may have descended from over the 
batsman's head, especially if the ball is very short, while the 
figure only shows the end of the stroke. 

The off drive in the direction of cover-point and to the right 
hand of point is a favourite hit with many players. Barnes 
of Nottingham plays it to perfection. The ball to hit in this 

Fig. ii. 

>ke off the legs. 



way is one well up on the off side, though it need not be a 
half-volley. The left foot is thrown across, the ball is hit 
with a nearly perpendicular bat, and the stronger the wrist the 
cleaner and harder will be the hit. In this and every other hit 
correct timing is most important, and whatever the beginner 
may try, do not let him attempt to hit wildly at the pitch of the 
ball. Let the left foot be put across, and be careful to hit over 
the ball in order to keep it down, for if you do not, and the 
ball bumps, it will inevitably go up. The ball should be a 
foot or so wide of the wicket ; the batsman at the moment of 
striking the ball will be facing cover-point, and will have his left 
shoulder well forward, as in fig. 12. The bat is well over the 
shoulder, and is coming down nearly perpendicularly on the 
ball, which is not a half-volley ; if it were, the bat would be 
straighter and the ball would be driven straighter. But the ball 
is hit after it has gone about a foot from the pitch. If the ball 
is a foot or two wide of the wicket and well up it would be hit in a 
similar position, for the bat cannot be held straight to hit a ball 
at this distance from the wicket ; if it should go straight it 
would be a pull and not a clean hit, and the further the ball 
from the wicket the further ought the left foot to be moved 
across. Whatever you do, refrain from hitting a ball when 
there is reasonable expectation of the umpire calling 'Wide.' 
You may hit it for two or three runs ; you are more likely 
only just to touch it with the end of the bat and get 
caught by third man or point ; you are still more likely to cover 
it and not score off it, thereby losing a run for your side. 

So completely has the modern method of bowling on the 
off side for catches established itself, that cautious players like 
Donnan and Abel have got into the habit of leaving off 
balls altogether alone. Granted that the bowling is accurate 
and the fields well placed, county clubs will very soon find 
out that, if this course is pursued much further, cricket will 
become a very dull game to watch, and a match will probably 
seldom lead to a decisive result. It may be done to a good 
length ball outside the off stump when you first go in, and have 


neither got a good sight of the ball nor the pace of the ground ; 
but that batsmen should habitually watch the wicket-keeper 
take the ball while they stand right in front of the wicket, with 
their bats behind them, is carrying caution so far that some 
people would call it not a virtue but a vice. We actually saw a 

Fig. i2.— Off drive. 

cautious player receive four consecutive off balls and not 
make an attempt to hit one. What pleasure can there be 
in batting if these tactics are adopted ? And let such players 
please think of the unhappy spectators. The ball can be hit 
if you will only get your left foot well across and get well over 
the ball, and even if your energies are chiefly directed towards 
hitting the ball on the ground, the ball will be hit, and the 


field may make a mistake; at any rate you have made an 
effort, and not given up in despair. It is like a timid man 
running away from danger instead of facing it, as he should, 
and it is better to try and to fail than not to try at all. Never 
mind your average ; you cannot win a match by such tactics, 
though you may make a draw of it. 

The off drive by cover-point must be always made by put- 
ting the left leg across, and not the right ; and the old principle 
never to be departed from, namely, to keep the left shoulder 
and elbow well forward, must be again emphasised. When 
you have once got into position you are master of the situa- 
tion : you are right over the ball, and you may leave it alone if 
it should bump ; or you may wait till the ball has passed you, 
and then make the cut with left leg over in the way described 
before. You are not in the most favourable attitude for the cut, 
because your left leg is too much over, but it can be brought 
off ; and if only a great deal of practice is given to this off drive 
there will be no necessity for leaving balls alone. 

There are several players to whom is denied the ability and 
capacity to make these off strokes, who are defective in wrist 
and careful timing of the ball, but who are fully capable of 
taking quite proper care of a half-volley or balls well up. 
Such players are under a great disadvantage when they get 
balls on the off side that are shorter than the half-volley, 
for they certainly cannot take the same advantage of them. 
But they have a great many courses open to them, and if they 
will get the left leg over, and hit over the ball, they will run no 
risk of getting out, and a casual ball will be well timed and hit 
accordingly. But they have also the waiting stroke open to 
them, and this consists of letting the ball get past them, and 
simply letting it glide off the bat in the direction of long- 
slip. The faster the bowling the more runs will result from this 
stroke, as the ball is hit at a longer time after it has pitched than 
it is when the batsman meets it by the more effective method ; 
there is more time to observe its pace and direction ; and if such 
a player is only careful to get over the ball, he will get a lot of 
runs in this way. 


Lastly, there is the hard drive, which partakes largely of for- 
ward play, but yet is a hit to which you can open your shoulders. 
It is made with a straight bat either on the off side, on side, or 
straight over the bowler's head. 

To fast bowling the difficulty arises of distinguishing this 
stroke from forward play, for so many balls from fast bowlers on 
hard wickets are played forward that are not by any means 
half-volleys and yet go very hard. In fact, there are occasions 
when fast grounds and fast bowling combine to make batting 
very easy — when, as a well-known Yorkshire fast bowler said, 
4 If you poke at her she goes for four.' There is no real neces- 
sity for ever having a regular smack at straight balls from a very 
fast bowler ; it is practically as effective to play them forward, 
with the weight of the body thrown on the left foot and the 
arms and shoulders kept free and loose. No more beautiful 
exponent of this graceful forward play has ever lived than 
Lionel Palairet of Somerset. But by all means hit as hard as 
you possibly can at a half-volley outside the off stump j the 
ball will either make mid-off tremble, or else go straight to 
the ropes between mid-off and cover-point. You move the 
left foot slightly forward a little in front of the wicket, and you 
hit at the ball with a straight bat and get well over it to keep 
it along the ground. Hold your bat tight, for if it should 
turn in your hands there will be a miss-hit and you v/ill be 
caught at cover-point or elsewhere. You can hit your hardest 
at the half-volley just off the wicket, for the simple reason 
that if you do miss the ball you cannot be bowled, and there 
is no more chance of missing if you put out your whole 
strength to it than if you simply drive it forward with a straight 
bat. So keep a little reserve of strength in all straight balls, 
but to a crooked half-volley put your whole force into the 
blow and hit as though you wished to do the ball an injury. 

About the half- volley on the on side very little need be 
said. We have observed before that the ball just outside the 
leg stump, to within two or three inches of it, is a ball to 
drive and not hit to leg. It should be hit towards mid-on or 
between the bowler and mid-on ; and to apply what has been 


said before, hit it as hard as you can, as if you do miss it you 
will not be bowled. Keep the right leg still and lunge for- 
ward on to your left foot, which should be a little thrown 
forward, and hold the bat tight. 

We have now sufficiently discussed the principles that 
ought to guide the young player in playing fast bowling on a 
good fast wicket, and if he observes what has been said he will 
find that he plays a good safe game, assuming that his eye is 
straight and that he is able to put his bat in the place where his 
eye shows him it ought to go. The play to fast bowling on 
slow tricky wickets brings out the batsman's real talent, and he 
will discover thai what was easy on a hard wicket is full of dif- 
ficulty on a soft. There are no decisive rules to guide the player 
on such wickets ; he must trust to his eye and capacity for 
watching the ball. The player that can watch the ball care- 
fully is the man who will succeed on slow difficult wickets ; 
and anybody who has seen Grace, Shrewsbury, and A. G. Steel 
bat under these circumstances will understand what this watch- 
ing the ball means. If the ground is very fast there is hardly 
any time for a careful watching of the ball ; the player must 
play largely by instinct, which will tell him where the ball is 
going, and as the wickets nowadays are so very true the ball 
will nearly always take a natural course, that is, straight from 
the pitch. The left-handed bowler round the wicket will come 
with the bowler's arm slightly from off to leg, the right-handed 
bowler also round the wicket from leg to off, but these are both 
the natural courses the ball ought to take. On slow wickets, how- 
ever, the ball will come slower ; it will take all sorts of fantastical 
turns and twists, it will get up straight, and sometimes hang 
or stop a little. It will generally be found that very fast 
bowlers do not shine on slow soft wickets, for they have great 
difficulty in getting a good foothold. It is the medium and 
slow bowlers who revel on such ground, as Briggs and Giffen 
can tell you. The batsman will find that he is bound to play 
more back and less forward, for it is little good to play for- 
ward unless the ball can be smothered, owing to the extra- 
ordinary pranks the ball will indulge in after it has pitched. He 


will therefore be found playing more on his right leg, and the 
runs will inevitably come much slower. It has been ascertained 
by experience that hitters are of more value on these difficult 
wickets than sticks ; for the latter, though they may stay in for an 
hour, will perhaps not get a dozen runs during that period. The 
hitter, however, if he brings off four hits, does more execution 
in a quarter of an hour than the stick will do in thrice that time. 
The value of three or four hitters in an eleven was never more 
distinctly shown than in the case of the Australian Elevens of 
1882 and 1884, and the Gloucestershire and Cambridge Elevens 
of 1897. In the Gloucestershire and Cambridge Elevens of 
1897 Jessop's hitting has on several occasions turned a match 
in a quarter of an hour, and this player certainly has the great- 
est gift we ever saw of hitting balls of any and all lengths. 
The Australian 1882 eleven had four big hitters — McDonnell, 
Bonnor, Giffen, and Massie. In the great international match 
at the Oval in 1882, Massie got the fifty-five runs in Aus- 
tralia's second innings that practically won the match, and to 
say he hit at every ball is scarcely an exaggeration. There 
was also a match against Yorkshire at Holbeck, where McDon- 
nell's scores of over thirty in one innings and over forty in the 
other certainly won the match for his side. In 1886 Surrey 
had to go in to get eighty-seven runs to win. Abel was playing 
for an hour and three-quarters, while Garrett and Evans were 
bowling, every ball dead on the wicket, and during that time 
laboriously compiled thirteen runs. The result of the match 
was really very doubtful after the fall of the seventh wicket, but 
Jones, a courageous cricketer, seeing what was the right game, 
went out and hit Palmer over the ropes for four, and the value 
of this hit cannot be exaggerated. As a rule it may be taken 
for granted that steady and slow play, useful and good as it is 
in its way, will not win matches on slow difficult wickets unless 
there is a sprinkling of three or four hitters in the eleven. By 
the doctrine of chances you will find that one of the number 
will come off, and one innings like Massie's may win the match. 
To the player who has any hit in him we therefore advise the 


playing of a freer game on slow difficult wickets than on easy 
ones. In the latter case runs are bound to come if only you 
stop there, but they will not in the former. You may leave 
your ground even to fast bowling on slow wickets if you think 
you can bring off a hit by so doing, and generally hold the bat 
nearer the top and give her the long handle. The defensive 
player, if he cannot do this, must play generally back with the 
weight on the right leg, watch the ball very carefully, take 
advantage of any loose ball that may be bowled, and try and 
place the ball for singles to short-leg, or in the slips. The 
bowlers find it more easy to put on break or curl on soft 
wickets, so whereas on hard wickets you may almost assume 
that the ball will play no pranks but come on straight, on soft 
you may almost assume the contrary. The ball that hangs or 
stops a bit after pitching instead of coming on is perhaps the 
most fatal ball that is bowled. If the batsman plays forward 
to such a ball he will very likely find that he has done playing 
before the ball has reached his bat; this means that the bottom 
of the bat goes on and gets under the ball, and he is caught 
and bowled. So frequently does this ball come that it is well 
not to play hard on soft wickets, for if the ball hangs at all it 
must go up on being hit. For defensive play, we think the bat 
ought not to be held at all tightly, but rather slackly, for you 
cannot get a run by hard forward play or hard back play on 
such wickets. 

The general characteristics of play to slow bowling such as 
that of Tyler, Peel, Briggs, and others are so very different 
that we must make a few special remarks on them. The great 
amount of slow bowling is a development of modern times ; 
not that slow round-arm bowling did not formerly exist, but it 
certainly did not to anything like the extent it does now. In 
the days which we all of us have heard talked about by old 
cricketers at Lord's, when Mynn, Redgate, Hillyer, and 
Lillywhite flourished, there were some lob bowlers, notably 
the famous Wm. Clarke, but there were few genuine slow 
round-arm bowlers, and Wm. Lillywhite had a long stop 


even when the renowned Tom Box was keeping wicket, as 
may be seen in the well-known engraving of the match between 
Kent and Sussex played about the year 1840. Coming to 
later times, from i860 to 1868, there was, as far as we can 
gather, but one real professional slow round -arm bowler, 
namely, George Bennett. Between 1870 and 1887 may be 
said to be the dark age of amateur fast bowling, and to a less 
degree of professional. Since that date, however, the amateur 
fast bowling has wonderfully improved, and the famous S. M. J. 
Woods led the way, and has been followed by Jessop, Jackson, 
Kortright, Cunliffe, and others, while the great Richardson, we 
think, is the best fast bowler that has ever bowled, when the 
amount of work and the perfect wickets are considered. 

From a theoretical point of view, to real slow bowling all 
forward play ought to be banished. If the ball is short, play 
back to it ; if it is tolerably well up there ought to be time to 
go out and meet it, and drive it at the pitch. There are some 
quick-footed players who carry this theory into practice, but 
generally, if you observe first-class cricket, you will find that 
there are plenty of players who never leave their ground, even to 
slow bowling, unless they are really well set. This partly comes 
from the great caution which is undoubtedly exercised more now 
than it was twenty or thirty years ago, and partly from the fact 
that the bowling, though some of it very slow, is not tossed up 
so high in the air as it was by Bennett and earlier bowlers. 
Peate, for instance, in his prime the best length bowler for the 
last twenty years, did not toss the ball at all high in the air, nor 
did the renowned Alfred Shaw, the most accurate bowler that 
ever lived. But we still think that more running in might be 
practised, for there is nothing that more completely demoralises 
a bowler than a player who comes out and drives when the ball 
is at all over-pitched. We have seen slow bowlers who do not 
possess much head completely demoralised by a quick-footed 
player like Mr. A. G. Steel. They preserve their dignity by 
bowling so short, that though maiden overs might abound 
wickets certainly would not fall. Let the cricketer, when play- 



ing to slow bowling, stand a little easier, in order that, when 
he has made up his mind to meet the ball, his right foot will not 
be rooted to the ground, as it ought to be when playing to fast 
bowling on fast wickets. Fig. 13 shows Shrewsbury going out 
to drive, but he is evidently only at the beginning of his jump, 
and by the time the bat has got over the ball he will be a couple 
of yards outside the crease. Remember, if you are to be stumped, 
you may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb. You are 
equally out if you are an 
inch or ten yards out of 
your ground, so never 
hesitate to go out as far 
as you can in order to 
make the hit a certainty, 
and if you can hit the 
ball full-pitch by all means 
do so, as you ought never 
to miss a full-pitch. You 
can also pull a full-pitch 
to leg or anywhere on 
the on side where fields- 
men are scarce, and it is 
a sign that for that parti- 
cular occasion the bowler 
is defeated if the batsman 
has not permitted the ball 
to touch the ground. 

If you find, on going out to hit a ball, that it is too short, 
and you cannot get at the pitch of it, you have several 
courses open to you. If you are a very big hitter, and the 
field is not very far out, it is worth while to try the experi- 
ment of hitting as hard as you can ; the ball must go high, 
and may go over the, ropes or out of harm's way; indeed, 
some great hitters seem to prefer a ball that is not quite a half- 
volley. Mr. C. I. Thornton, the biggest hitter the world has ever 
beheld, with the exception of G. J. Bonnor and perhaps Lyons, 


[3. — Running out to drive. 


has made his longest hits off such balls as these; while 
Bonnor, who possesses a prodigious reach, seldom leaves his 
ground at all, and constantly sends the ball out of the ground 
by hitting short of the actual pitch. If the ball is smothered it 
cannot go up in the air, and though it is more correct cricket 
to get over the ball and drive it forward, as Shrewsbury and 
A. G. Steel do, it is probable that the great hitters would lose 
more than they gained by playing the orthodox game. There 
is a golden rule to be carefully remembered in playing slows, 
and that is, never to run out to a ball that is well outside the 
off stump. We do not mean to bar the player from running 
out to a ball which is absurdly over-pitched, and which he 
is certain to get full-pitch if he goes out ; but he should not 
leave his ground to the half- volley unless it is nearly straight. 
There is more than one reason for this. In the first place, 
if you miss the ball, it is the easiest sort for the wicket-keeper 
to take, and any moderately decent wicket-keeper will cer- 
tainly have you out. In the second place, an off ball is one 
that it is impossible to hit or play with a straight bat, and 
if you run out to slows you ought always to hit thus ; and 
this rule is sound even when you run out to a ball on your 
legs, for that is generally hit to long-on with a straight bat, 
and not to leg. It is generally true that you should never 
leave your ground to any ball that may be called crooked, 
whether it is to leg or to the off, for in either case you run 
a serious risk of being stumped ; it is only straight or nearly 
straight balls that you ought to meet by going out of your 
ground. The modern slow bowler is so very accurate that he 
very rarely bowls on the leg side at all, and the old-fashioned 
lobber who used to bowl on the leg side with a twist from leg 
and have four or five fields on the leg side is gradually disappear- 
ing. The ball that in nineteen cases out of twenty you have 
to meet by going out of your ground is, therefore, the straight 

As far as lobs are concerned, you can play them by stopping 
in your ground ; but the really good player to lobs runs out to 


a certainty when the ball is overpitched, and the famous Wm. 
Clarke used to say that Pilch played him best, as he used to 
wait his opportunity and meet him and run him down with a 
straight bat. If you come to reason out the theory of batting 
to slows, and think how you can best defend your wicket and 
best score off such bowling, you will easily satisfy yourself that 
by playing back and gently forward you may ensure safety for a 
considerable period, but you cannot score even moderately fast. 
The ball does not come up to the bat fast off the ground as 
in fast bowling, and if you play forward hard you run the 
enormous risk of being caught and bowled or caught at mid 
off. In other words, while to fast bowling you play forward 
to get runs, to slow bowling you play forward to defend your 
wicket. If, therefore, you play the extra- cautious game and 
stick in your ground, or from some cause or another are 
unable ever to ' give her the rush,' you will not be able to 
score except by casual singles, unless you wait and fully avail 
yourself of a full pitch or an outrageous long hop, relished, and 
often obtained, when amateurs are bowling, but very seldom 
delivered in first-class matches, and pratically never by pro- 
fessional players. 

It is difficult to know what to do with the good length 
off ball. It is much harder to cut slow bowling than fast : 
greater strength of wrist is wanted, and there are many 
players who are unable to do more than merely pat the ball 
towards third man for a single or two runs. Slow bowlers 
have a great fancy for bowling without a field at third man, 
and this is to the advantage of the batsman ; but even if 
there is a third man, at any rate he cannot cover more than 
a certain amount of ground, and you will find that many a 
run may be got by the pat. Mind and get over the ball, 
and you cannot then come to grief by being caught at third 
man or short- slip, and very rarely by the wicket-keeper. 
The bumping ball ought to be left alone ; this sort of ball is 
the only one in meeting which prudence is the better part 
of valour, and no attempt ought to be made to hit at all. 


The old Adam within them forces a great many players to 
try and hit, but it is almost a certainty that if the ball is hit 
it must be from underneath, and up in the air it will con- 
sequently go. On a soft slow wicket any run getting to 
good slow .bowling is extremely difficult, but even on such 
wickets you will lose nothing and gain the casual single by 
the pat. 

The good length ball on the off side is the modern bats- 
man's bugbear, but it is far easier to play when the bowling is 
fast than when it is slow. It is easier to cut in the first in- 
stance, and there are seldom so many fields on the off side to 
the fast bowler. But the slow ball can be and ought to be 
driven along the ground if the batsman gets well over it, times 
it correctly, and throws the left leg across in the same way 
as we explained in describing the proper method of making 
this stroke off fast bowling. It is more difficult to time good 
slow bowling, when the bowler is continually altering his pace, 
than fast, and herein lies the difficulty of hitting these off balls. 
Bear in mind, however, that by keeping well over the ball you 
practically run no risk of being caught anywhere ; sooner or 
later you will get your eye in, and when that desirable con- 
summation is accomplished, you will be astonished to find how 
safely you will hit many balls that when you are looking on it 
seems impossible to hit without incurring considerable danger. 
But nothing can be gained by leaving balls alone; you run the 
minimum of risk by hitting at them, if only you observe the 
two rules which ought to be hung in your bedroom and branded 
into your brain, ' Put the left leg over,' and 'Get on the top of 
the ball.' Above all things do not play for a draw. 

From what has been said on the principles which govern 
the proper playing of fast and slow bowling, the reader may be 
led to think that slow bowling is far more difficult to play 
successfully than fast. Chacun a son goiit is true, no doubt, 
but we are inclined to think that, to the majority of players in 
the prime of their play, slow bowling is on the whole more diffi- 
cult to play, especially on hard wickets. Take the case of 


W. G. Grace. It was almost a waste of time on hard wickets to 
put on fast bowlers when Mr. Grace was at his best. The sole 
advantage to be derived from so doing arose from the fact that 
it was advisable to distract his eye, and for this purpose a fast 
bowler was useful. By this we mean that, when slow bowlers 
were on at both ends, his eye would become more accustomed 
to the pace of the ground, and in a shorter time than it would 
have been if a fast bowler had been on at one end. But the 
fast bowler was on mainly to enable the slow bowler to get him 
out, and if the reader looks at Mr. Grace's enormous scores of 
twenty years back he will find that Shaw, Southerton, Peate, and 
Lillywhite got him out a dozen times to the fast bowlers' once. 
And the runs that came from bowlers like Martin Mclntyre 
were astonishing ; anywhere, cuts, pushes through any number 
of short-legs, big drives and colossal leg hits — all were alike to 
the great batsman. 

On soft wickets, though many think otherwise, we believe 
that fast or medium-paced bowling is more difficult. This must 
be assumed only in the case of those fast bowlers who have 
power to keep their precision and pace on slow wickets, like 
Morley and Richardson. The variety of wickets, as is shown 
in the chapter on Bowling, is very great, and on the real mud 
farmyard sort of wicket it is generally safe to presume that fast 
bowlers cannot act. When there is a slight drizzling rain, 
which keeps the ball and surface of the ground wet, fast bowlers 
flounder about like porpoises, and the only bowlers who can 
act at all are the slow, though they are very much handicapped. 
But on the real bowler's wicket, soft, yet gradually hardening 
by the effect of the sun, cateris paribus > the fast or fast medium 
bowler will, as a rule, be the most deadiy. The year 1879 was, 
on the whole, the wettest year for cricket that the present 
generation has seen, and it is instructive to turn to the result 
of the season's bowling for the county of Nottingham. This 
county possessed in Alfred Shaw and Morley the two best 
bowlers in England — one slow; the other fast. Here is the 
analysis of each for Nottingham : — 


Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Average 
Morley . , . 725 349 867 89 9-66 

Shaw . . .794 453 6 5* 62 ***3* 

It will be seen from this pair of analyses that Morley's 
is slightly better all round than Shaw, with the exception 01 
the number of maiden overs. But maiden overs are not the 
final goal of the bowler's ambition. They are only means to 
an end. The true bowler's one idea is to get wickets. The 
reader will note that Morley, the fast bowler, got no fewer 
than twenty-seven wickets more than Shaw, which more than 
makes up for the latter's greater success in bowling maidens. 
The year 1879 was doubtless a great year for bowlers, but none 
the less we doubt whether, taking a whole season's work for a 
county, this record has ever been surpassed by any pair of 
bowlers at any time, and it is as good an illustration of the 
truth of our theory that in wet years slow bowlers are not likely 
to succeed so well as fast or medium-pace. 

It has always appeared to us that the reason why real slow 
bowling is slightly less deadly than fast or medium on slow 
wickets is simply that the batsman is more at the mercy of the 
eccentricities of the ground when playing to the latter class of 
bowling than when playing to the former. He always has the 
power, if he would only exercise it, of leaving his ground to 
balls of a certain length from the slow bowler, and smothering 
them. And again let the beginner lay this axiom to heart : the 
ground can commit no devilry if the ball is 'smothered at the 
pitch. On slow wickets, therefore, to slow bowling leave your 
ground with even less hesitation than on fast, and argue in this 
way, that as life against these bowlers and on this wicket is 
certain to be a short one, therefore it had better be a merry one 
for the sake of the score. 

There are and have been a few great men with the bat who 
obey no law, but possess that strange indefinable gift called 
genius, which rises superior to any difficulty of ground or 
bowling ; these batting luminaries may play their ordinary 
game on slow difficult wickets, and their genius enables them 


to do what ordinary mortals cannot. On really difficult wickets 
Shrewsbury shone, and on the whole he has proved himself the 
best player the world has ever seen on caking, difficult, soft 
wickets. But let the ordinary player, who has acquired a 
certain amount of skill in batting, remember that cricket on 
hard and fast wickets and cricket on slow are two quite different 
things, and that he must alter his game to suit the circum- 
stances. The very fast-footed bookish sort of player is the 
one who is most at sea on soft wickets ; and this last bit of 
advice we respectfully urge upon him — that one hit for four 
and out next ball will probably be of more value to his side 
than twenty minutes' careful defence and no run. It is not on 
soft wickets that drawn games are played, unless there is rain 
after the match has begun ; it is on dry wickets, with bound- 
aries close in, that the plethora of runs makes the game dull to 
all except the ignorant spectator and the voracious batsman. 
Of course, if there is only a short time left before the drawing 
of stumps and conclusion of the match, say an hour and a half 
or two hours, it may be of importance to play for a draw j then 
the twenty-minutes-without-a-run batsman may be the means 
of salvation for his side, as Louis Hall has proved to be more 
than once for Yorkshire ; but, except under such circumstances, 
the hitter who runs a certain risk for the sake of a hit is the 
more valuable man. 

A few words now on running. A man is out if run out as 
decisively as if his middle stump is knocked down j but being 
run out is more annoying than being bowled, so everybody 
ought to learn how to run. Some fieldsmen are so renowned for 
their throwing and rapidity of movement that when such a man 
is going for the ball the batsman will not venture on a run 
which, under ordinary circumstances, he might safely make. 
In any event do not run if you feel any doubt of its safety. 
The first invariable rule is that the striker calls the run if the 
ball is hit in front of the wicket. This is simple to remember 
and there is no exception unless it be when the ball is hit to 
third man under certain circumstances. These circumstances 

g 2 


refer to the fieldsman himself. If the third man knows his 
business and throws to the bowler, the striker has to run the 
risk ; therefore he ought to call. If the third man is a player 
of tradition and always throws to the wicket-keeper, the non- 
striker is in danger, but if he is backing up he never will 
be run out. All hits behind the wicket— except in the case 
above mentioned — must be called by the non-striker, and the 
striker must not look at the ball after he has hit it, but at the 
non-striker. The man who has not to judge the run must 
have a simple childlike faith in the judgment of his partner, 
and if he gets run out he may remonstrate gently with him 
afterwards with good reason. The man who is receiving the ball 
can easily get into the habit of watching it after it has passed 
him on its way to the long-stop or if he has hit it to long- 
slip ; but this is a bad habit, and if indulged in will result 
in the two batsmen holding different ideas as to whether a 
run can be got or not, on which subject there must be no 
difference of opinion. If the batsman to whom rightly belongs 
the call shouts 'run,' and his colleague shouts 'no,' unless one 
gives way promptly there may be a crisis at hand. Never do 
batsmen look so foolish as when they affectionately meet at the 
same wicket, and nothing is so maddening to the supporters 
of a side as to see a good batsman well set deliberately lose 
his wicket by the folly of either his colleague or himself. If 
batsmen will only remember that the decision of the run must 
rest with one man, and that his call must be obeyed at once, 
there will not be many runs out. When, say, the third run is 
being made, and the question whether a fourth can be success- 
fully attempted arises, that batsman who has to run to the 
wicket nearest the ball ought to call. The reason of this is, that 
as the ball is a considerable way from the nearest wicket it is 
almost certain to be thrown there, and the batsman who calls 
ought to be he who runs the risk. We will give the following 
rules to be remembered by every cricketer with regard to run- 
ning, (i) The striker must call every time when the ball is hit 
in front of the wicket. (2) The non-striker must call every run 
when the ball is hit behind the wicket, except in the case of hits to 


third man as mentioned above. (3) Whoever has to shout, let 
him shout loudly ; there is no penalty attaching to a yell, 
and it is comforting to a man to know his colleague's in- 
tention without any doubt. (4) If a bye is being run, the striker 
must run straight down the wicket, as he may be saved from 
being run out by the ball hitting his head instead of the wicket, 
for which mercy he ought to be duly thankful. (5) On all 
other occasions run wide of the wicket so as not to cut it up. 

(6) Always run for a catch if sent reasonably high into the air ; 
if it is caught no harm is done to you, and to be missed and to 
secure a run in one and the same hit is a veritable triumph. 

(7) Run the first run as hard as you can, and turn quickly aftei 
grounding your bat within the popping crease, for the fieldsman 
may bungle even the easiest ball, and it is never safe to assume 
that there can be no second run. 

We hope that we have now explained the true principles 
of batting to guide the youthful player in his path. One other 
word of caution. A young cricketer may go to Lord's and 
watch a great match ; he may see the giants of the game 
perform — MacLaren, Ranjitsinhji, Jackson, and Palairet. He 
will wonder and admire, but let him beware of imitation, which 
may lead him into innumerable quagmires. In another 
walk of life, literature, you will find facetious writers who are 
fond of imitating the style of famous authors, and very amusing 
the attempts sometimes are; but it is easily seen that the 
points they successfully imitate are the roughnesses and eccen- 
tricities which are frequently characteristic of great authors, 
An imitator of Carlyle, for instance, revels in the brusque 
eccentricities of the great man's style, but he never succeeds 
in portraying his noble qualities. It is much the same in 
cricket : genius defies imitation, and is only by poor struggling 
humanity to be admired. In the prime of his play nothing in 
cricket was grander than the sight of W. G. Grace scoring two 
runs off a ball that any other cricketer would have been only 
too happy to stop. No school coach that understood his busi- 
ness would tell a youth to play certain balls as they are played 


by Mr. A. G. Steel, who sometimes adopts the most daring 
methods, and it is not safe to infer that anybody else in the 
world can play in a like manner. It is so with hitting. Bonnor, 
Lyons, O'Brien, Ford, and Jessop can hit many balls which 
the great majority of other cricketers would only venture to play 
gently forward. Some critics who are great at criticism, but 
great at nothing else, have been known to shake their heads at 
some of the methods of great players ; but we can assure these 
gentlemen that real genius admits no more of criticism than 
it does of imitation. The four never-to-be-violated rules pre- 
viously mentioned need not trouble the genius at all ; no 
human law need concern him : he is a law to himself, and 
looks down from a lofty eminence on his weaker brethren. 
What is the good of telling A. G. Steel not to move out of his 
ground to fast bowling, seeing that he does so constantly, and 
gets four runs by a fine hit when he l gives her the rush ' ? He 
will not heed you ; and why should he ? 

Apart altogether from the natural accuracy and quickness 
of hand and eye, without a proper allowance of which labour 
will be in vain, a great deal depends on the temperament of 
each player. Whether failure is owing to health, to inability 
to recover elasticity of spirits after a few defeats, or to some 
other cause, it is impossible to say. But let the good player 
who goes through a whole month, or perhaps even a season, 
with very bad luck, and comes out in the end with a bad 
average, comfort himself with this reflection, that not only 
have good players had these reverses, but even the very best. 
Mr. W. G. Grace must be accustomed to hear and see his name 
referred to, but even he has had spells of bad luck, and he will, 
we are sure, excuse us if we put in full the following figures 
of innings which were played when he was in his prime : — 

June 15 and 16, 1871. — Gloucestershire v. Surrey. 

. c R. Humphrey, b. Street ...... 1 

June 19 and 20, 1871. — M.C.C. v. Cambridge University. 

c. Ward, b. Bray t 4 

c. Thornton, b. Bray 4 


June 22 and 23, 1871. — M.C.C. v. Oxford University. 

c. and b. Butler 15 

June 29 and 30, 1871. — Gentlemen of South v. Players of South. 

c. Lillywhite, b. Southerton 4 

b. Lillywhite u 

These figures show how the mighty do sometimes fall, and 
this certainly ought to console those in the humbler walks of 
the cricket world. Some players have shot up like rockets, 
played for a season or so, and then have been heard of no more ; 
but the county that plays a series of county matches will act 
unwisely if it shunts a player who has shown that he possesses 
real batting ability. Of course there are limits to the patience 
of every club committee, but all committees would be wise if 
they were to err on the side of leniency in this matter. 

It is of very little avail writing any sort of homily on ner- 
vousness, which is in the constitution, and cannot be got rid ol 
by much or any reading. It is common to all, in greater or 
less degree, and if any man tells you that he does not know 
what nervousness in cricket is, do not believe him. To say 
that there is no sensation other than a distinctly pleasant one 
in walking to the wickets is absurd. It is true that nervousness 
does not appear to affect the play of some batsmen, who on first 
going in seem to be playing their ordinary game. But the 
sensation is there, and these are the fortunate men whose play 
suffers but little in consequence. 

Nervous players must try and reason to the effect that they 
are sometimes in the habit of making runs, and that therefore 
there is no great presumption on their part if they assume that 
the chances are they will do so again. They must also remember 
that, after all, cricket is but a game, and no moral disgrace 
will attach to them if they fail. These are but poor consola- 
tions at the best, but the game is so glorious that, as we have 
before remarked, it is better to try and to fail than never try 
at all. 

It has always been assumed that the crack English Eleven 
that failed to make the necessary seventy-nine runs against the 


Australians in 1882 were nervous because they did not succeed 
in making them. We are not sure that they all were, or that 
there was more nervousness than usual ; but the wicket was 
difficult, the Australians' fielding superb, and their bowling 
extraordinarily good. Certainly two or three of the Englishmen 
were nervous, and no eleven could be got together anywhere 
to play such an important match without this being the 
case. But the longer anyone plays the less nervous will he 
become, and the fortunate men in cricket are those, like the 
famous Tom Emmett of Yorkshire, who can, as he modestly said, 
1 bowl a bit sometimes.' The player who plays only because 
he is a good bat, and never bowls after he has laid his duck egg, 
has no opportunity of retrieving his character by getting four or 
five wickets with the ball. The unhappy batsman makes one 
bad stroke and his wicket is lost, and he has possibly no further 
chance in the match. But though the bowler may bowl a wide 
one ball he may take a wicket the next, and we believe that 
these all-round players find more enjoyment in cricket than the 
man who only bats. To their credit be it said that at no 
previous period have the professionals combined the two more 
than they do now, and we congratulate Peel, Briggs, Attewell, 
Rawlin, Davidson, Hirst, and Wainwright accordingly. 

The obvious advice to give to players whose success de- 
pends mainly on health is to implore them to look after and 
pay great respect to the laws by which health is regulated. 
Not to eat and drink too much, great though the temptation 
may be to do both, is a rule that ought to be observed by 
cricketers ; but there is another, not so obvious, but of great 
importance, and that is, avoid sitting up late at night. There 
is such a lot of cricket in these days that some amateurs and a 
great many professionals play six days in the week. There 
is the corresponding amount of travelling to be got through, 
and a lot of fatigue to be undergone ; sleep, therefore, must not 
be neglected, and long hours devoted to convivial evenings not 
only entail loss of health but loss of runs also. It is a curious 
and unwholesome feature of the present day that it is judged 
expedient to have enormous meals in the middle of the day, 


with salmon, forced meats, creams, jellies, champagne, and 
everything calculated to disturb digestion and pervert the sight. 
This meal is not only the cause of much indigestion, but also 
of a gross waste of time. Instead of half an hour being taken 
up by the legitimate luncheon, a precious hour is stolen from 
the middle of the day. It must be said that on the principal 
public grounds there is no reason to complain of the lun- 
cheons : excess is more the custom on private grounds. 

As we have in this chapter implored captains of elevens to 
be merciful to good players who may happen to be out of luck, 
so now, in justice to the other side of the question, let us beg 
the batsman not to be superstitious. 

Superstitions abound in most games, but we have no 
objection to examples of the weakness which cause inconveni- 
ence to nobody except the possessor. We have heard, for 
instance, of a really great player who never goes in to bat in 
a match with anything new about him, not even a shoe-lace ; 
but such superstitions are harmless. There is, however, the 
man who has got it into his head, or possibly has dreamt, that 
it is quite impossible for him to score if he goes in first or fifth, 
or in some particular place ; consequently the unhappy captain, 
after he has written out, with great care, an order of going in, 
is bothered and worried by men who begin to make excuse. 
One is certain that he cannot score if he goes in first, another 
thinks he ought not to be put so low down as eighth, and so on. 
Our advice to the captain is to care for none of these things ; 
let him use his own judgment and not consider the absurd whims 
and eccentricities of nervous batsmen. The responsibility of 
managing a match is quite enough anxiety and trouble for him 
without being bothered by a mutinous eleven, and we entreat 
batsmen to obey without murmuring their captain's orders, and 
•go in without grumbling. 

The rules of cricket are imperfectly understood even by 
some reputedly famous umpires ; it may be well, therefore, to 
remind batsmen how many ways there are of getting out. They 
know what it is to be bowled out, caught out, stumped, run out, 
to get out leg before wicket, or to hit wicket ; and a great many 


think that nothing else will get them out. This is a mistake, 
and it was a comical sight to see, as we saw some years ago, 
a first-rate professional diddled out in another way. It is 
against the rules, properly understood, to wilfully hit the ball 
twice. The rule runs : ■ The batsman is out if the ball be 
struck . . . and he wilfully strike it again, except it be done 
for the purpose of guarding his wicket.' But if a batsman 
plays a ball and a proper interval elapses the ball is dead, 
and he may return the ball to the bowler. The old rule 
reads : 'if the striker touch or take up the ball while in 
play.' In the case alluded to, Barlow was batting in a North 
and South match at Lord's. He hit the ball twice, and, 
unfortunately for him, started to run. This starting to run 
proved the more or less wilful nature of the act. There was a 
roar of ' How's that ? ' from the colossal throat of W. G. Grace, 
standing at point ; it was a case of ' You'll have to go, Barlow,' 
and naturally, in a somewhat moody manner, Barlow went to 
the pavilion. It is absurd to say that there was anything unfair 
in this ; he violated a distinct rule of cricket. A lot of players 
think that the ball must not be hit twice under any circum- 
stances, and they would as soon think of touching a red-hot 
coal as hitting the ball a second time. If there is no wicket- 
keeper and the ball is played dead against the foot, it may 
save a few seconds of time if the batsman shove the ball back 
to the bowler with his bat and stand still, thus saving point the 
trouble of picking the ball up and returning it. The ball while 
1 in play ' must never be picked up by the hand, for handling the 
ball wilfully loses a wicket as much as having two stumps knocked 
down. It is an easy rule to remember, and is very rarely broken, 
but still it is a rule that must be observed. Obstructing the field 
is another violation of rule for which the extreme penalty is 
exacted. Of course a witness may tell an untruth in the witness- 
box, but unless it is spoken wilfully it is not perjury. So it is 
with obstructing the field. Many hundreds of times has a bats- 
man standing in his ground prevented a wicket-keeper from 
catching him out ; the mere fact that the player's body, being 



in a certain position, forces the wicket-keeper to run round him 
instead of straight at the ball will make an uppish ball as un- 
reachable as the sun. The fieldsman is obstructed, but not 
wilfully, so no penalty is incurred. But if the batsman were to 
hit up a ball to point, for instance, and either strike at the ball 
with his bat or wilfully baulk the fieldsman in any way, he would 
be out, and deservedly so. In this, as in other like matters, the 
umpire must be the sole judge, and it ought to be pretty plain and 
easy for him to give a right decision. About twenty years ago the 
well-known Cambridge University cricketer, Mr. C. A. Absalom, 
playing for his University against Surrey, was running a bye, and 
whilst running to the opposite wicket the ball hit his bat, possibly 
preventing him from being run out. The umpire gave him out j 
but the umpire was wrong, for the ball came from behind him, 
and as it was never alleged that he looked to see the course the 
ball was taking and then interposed his bat, it was obviously 
impossible that he could have wilfully obstructed the ball : it 
merely chanced that while running in towards the wicket the 
ball by accident hit his bat. We do not mean to imply that 
the batsman ought to run wide of the wicket to a short run in 
order to give the fieldsman every chance of running him out ; 
on the contrary, if a short bye is to be run, we advise the bats- 
man to run straight down the. wicket, for then, as pointed out 
elsewhere, the ball will very likely hit him and prevent him being 
run out. But he must not deliberately get in the way of the ball 
or in any way contribute to the fact of the ball hitting him. A 
case of wilful obstruction ought easily to be detected by any 
decent umpire. 

It is amusing to ask experienced cricketers in how many 
ways it is possible for a man to be got out at cricket, and 
it is astonishing to find many who give most absurd answers. 
There are nine distinct ways of getting out — (1) bowled j 
(2) caught ; (3) stumped ; (4) leg before wicket ; (5) hit 
wicket ; (6) run out ; (7) handling the ball ; (8) obstructing 
the field ; (9) hitting ball twice. It is well to know these 
facts, for the batsman who gets out in an untoward and un- 

9 2 


usual way feels himself to be a fool, and generally looks like 
one. Mr. Alfred Lyttelton, when playing some years ago for 
Cambridge University Eleven against M.C.C. at Lord's, got 
back to a slow long hop and with his foot just touched the leg 
stump, the bail of which did not at once fall off. Oblivious of 
this fact, and only conscious that he had caught the ball in the 
middle of the bat and sent it far away, off he started for his 
runs with radiancy on his face and a mocking smile on his lips. 
No less than five runs were run, and not until then did anyone 
except the wicket-keeper notice that the leg bail, after hanging 
on a frail basis for a few seconds, had fallen off. The appeal was 
made and the facts examined, the deadly verdict was given, 
and it was a case of a return to the pavilion. The batsman 
on such occasions as these may look pleasant ; but that is only 
one of the beneficent results of civilisation, for, as a matter of 
fact, he feels extremely bitter, and there are innumerable swords 
in his heart. In the case mentioned the unhappy batsman felt 
hot and out of breath after his exertions in running the five 
runs, and there was a sad reversal of the pleasant feelings that 
attend a successful hit — the applause of the crowd was all 
wasted, the expected increase to the score was not realised, 
all had vanished, and a melancholy man walked drearily to 
the dressing-room. 

Batting may be called the roost enjoyable feature of the 
great and glorious game of cricket. A man even in full 
training invariably feels the effect of fatigue after bowling sixty 
or seventy overs, and fieldsmen go through the same experience 
during a long outing. But it may with truth be said that the keen 
pleasure which is realised by every cricketer worthy of the name, 
while he is actually at the wickets, prevents him from feeling 
fatigue as an inconvenience until the innings is over. We do 
not believe, though with bated breath let it be said, that the 
fine rider on a fine horse in a good position and over a grass 
country with a burning scent can feel so supremely content 
with the world and its glorious surroundings while galloping 
and jumping close to hounds, as does a batsman who feels 



himself master of the bowling on a good wicket in a first-clas> 
match, with a fine day and a large crowd keenly anxious for his 
well-doing. He is conscious that his side is gaining a glorious 
victory by his efforts, and life can give him no prouder moments. 
To the young cricketer let us therefore say, in conclusion, that, 
as the pleasure is so intense and the excitement so keen, he 
should strive to attain proficiency by care, practice, and the 
advice of great masters. Above all, he must cultivate the 
moral qualities that of necessity must have a place in such a 
great, glorious, and unsurpassable game as cricket. 

Fig. 14. — Gunn playing forward. 



VERYONE who knows anything 
at all about cricket will at once admit 
that bowling is, to say the least, as 
important a feature of the game as 
batting. The same share of fame has 
always been conferred on a really good 
bowler as on an expert at the other great 
branch of the game ; but, though this has been 
so from the very earliest days of cricket, there is no doubt that 
the number of good bowlers whose names figure in the chron- 
icles of the game is much smaller than the number of good 
batsmen. This would seem to show that the art of bowling 
is more difficult of attainment than its sister accomplishment, 
and in face of this supposition, it seems strange that the energy 


devoted to practising bowling by all beginners at the game 
should be so greatly exceeded by that devoted to batting. The 
reason for this may easily be found in the fact that the pleasure 
derived from making a long score, and the indescribable 
feelings of delight experienced by every keen cricketer when he 
has a bat in his hand, seem to offer greater attractions than 
the more sober, less flashy, and apparently more mechanical 
duties of a bowler. It is a great pity, in the interests of the 
game, that at our large public schools and universities more 
care is not taken to coach beginners in bowling. Hours upon 
hours are devoted to the teaching of batting, but it is very, very 
seldom any professional ever thinks of endeavouring to instil 
into his pupils any of the most elementary rules of bowling. 

A question which cannot fail to present itself to the minds 
of all cricketers, and especially those who recollect some of the 
heroes of bygone days, is whether the bowling of to-day is as 
good as it used to be. This particular question — so often put, 
and answered so differently — seems to me to be one which it is 
impossible to decide, as the whole nature of the game has altered 
so much in the last few years. This alteration is due, firstly, 
to the great improvement in the condition of the grounds; 
secondly, to the corresponding improvement in batting, for * the 
better the grounds the better the batsmen,' is generally a correct 
saying. Formerly bowlers were greatly assisted by the uneven- 
ness of the grounds ; whereas now, on our billiard-table-like 
wickets, even our very best bowlers know well that their chance 
of getting rid of a strong batting side for anything under 300 
runs is extremely remote. It is impossible to compare the tall- 
hatted old heroes of the ball with bowlers of the present day. In 
olden days the badness of the grounds caused the best batsman's 
wicket to be in frequent jeopardy, and fast erratic bowlers were 
well aware that there would be ample compensation for any ac- 
curacy which might be wanting in their delivery in the far from 
infrequent shooters and abruptly rising balls which so often 
either levelled the stumps or compelled the retirement of the 
batsman by a catch in the slips. Nowadays a bowler is nothing 
unless he has command of the ball and can practise variety ; 


batting is so good and grounds are so level that the merely 
accurate bowler may keep down runs, but he cannot get wickets, 
but this fact is hardly realised yet, and our best bowlers — and 
these consist almost exclusively of the professional class — seem 
to aim not so much at getting rid of a batsman as at keeping 
down the runs by bowling a good even straight length, and 
trusting to chance or the impatience of the batsman for his 
dismissal. As, however, this subject is one which will best be 
treated later on, and about which there is a good deal to be 
said, we will leave it for the present, and turn our attention to 
a short retrospect of bowling from the earliest days. 

Round-arm bowling seems to have come into vogue in 1825. 
It has been generally supposed that Mr. Willes was the first to 
start it, and the following story is told of the way in which that 
gentleman found out the advantages of the round-arm delivery. 
Mr. Willes, being a most enthusiastic cricketer, and not content 
with the summer months for his favourite sport, used in the winter 
daily to repair to his barn, and there measure out the proper 
distance, pitch the stumps, and, with his sister (also an enthusiast) 
as bowler, enjoy a good practice. Now everyone who has seen 
ladies attempting to throw a stone or cricket ball will remember 
that they invariably have a half-round, half-under sort of de- 
livery, and this Miss Willes, in common with the majority of 
ladies, seems to have possessed. Her brother, accustomed to 
play against what in those days was the only known style of 
bowling, viz. under-arm, was somewhat perplexed and worried 
with this unknown feminine species of ball, which doubtless 
he found difficult to tackle. How amusing it would have 
been to have watched this keen cricketer, probably not un- 
conscious of his own merits as a batsman, entirely puzzled 
by the deliveries of a lady! We are not told whether his 
feelings of shame at being thus defeated, or of delight at 
discovering this new style of bowling, predominated, but we 
are told that shortly afterwards he made his debut as a round- 
arm bowler, and met with (until he was stopped by the 
conservatism of the crowd) the greatest success. 

From the year 1825 down to the present, round-arm bowl- 


ing has been universal, and it is now quite an exceptional 
occurrence to come across a fast under-arm bowler of the old 
style. This is not much to be regretted, as every attribute 
of good bowling which was obtainable by the fast under- 
arm delivery is much more easy of attainment by the round 
or over-arm style j and many accomplishments pertaining to 
the bowler's art are possible to the round-arm which, from the 
very nature of the action, are impossible to the fast under-arm 
bowler. Break, spin, and quickness from the pitch are common 
to both styles, but certainly the two latter are made easier of 
acquirement by the round-arm style ; and with regard to break — 
an easier matter for the under-arm bowler— the ball that breaks 
or twists the most is not as a rule the ball that gets the most 
wickets. To a fast under-arm bowler the variations in flight 
and pace, so well known to the best round-arm bowlers, are un- 
known. Slow under-arm bowling, of course, must be excepted 
from these remarks ; later on in this chapter I shall have some- 
thing to say on the subject of this most useful style, which un- 
fortunately in later years seems almost to have died out. 

It was formerly the reproach of amateurs that from the 
year 1875 t0 > sav > ^^1 tnev na d no bowlers. When Appleby 
and Buchanan retired from first-class cricket in 1875, there 
was practically nobody except Grace and Studd to carry on 
the lamp of amateur bowling till Woods, Jackson, Kortright, 
Streatfeild, Wells, Bull, Jessop, CunlirTe, and Wilson by their 
pace and accuracy have shown the public what can be done. 
Woods, Kortright, Jackson, and Jessop for pace, Bull and Wells 
for slow, and CunlirTe and Wilson for medium are all excellent 
in their respective classes, and in the sixties, when the grounds 
would have given them more assistance, they would have been 
far more deadly than now. Still it is a fact that at most public 
schools more teaching ought to be bestowed upon bowling. 
A few words of instruction or encouragement to a beginner 
might have the effect of awakening in him the interest and 
keenness about bowling which would eventually cause his 
development into a good, or at any rate a fairish bowler. Who 
has not seen over and over again a boy come up to a net where a 



companion is practising, and picking up a ball, which as likely 
as not is about half as large again as a match ball, proceed to 
hammer away at the batsman for about ten minutes or more 
in all directions, with ail pitches, and, what is worse than every- 
thing, with different lengths of run ? Then, perhaps, getting a 
little tired, as any bowler will who bowls for long without a rest 
(which he would get in a match at the end of each over), he 
exclaims, \ Now I'll give you some of Spofforth's patents ! ' and 
then, with a long run and a kangaroo-like bound (but, probably, 
altogether unlike the famous Australian bowler), he proceeds to 
hurl the ball wider and in a more erratic style than ever. Then, 
perhaps, he will say, ' Would you like some of W. G.'s ? ' and 
immediately assuming the well-known and somewhat inartistic 
pose of the English champion, proceed to toss the ball lifeless 
up in the air. Now this is not the way to learn how to bowl. 
Bowling, like everything else worth doing, takes a lot of careful 
practice before it can be expected to meet with success. 

There can be no doubt that were boys carefully trained at 
school in the art of bowling, as they are in that of batting, our 
universities, from which the ranks of our first-class cricketers 
are usually replenished, would be continually sending up men 
who could take the position as leading bowlers now occupied 
by professionals. But, it may be asked, if we have a supply 
of fairly good bowlers, what does it matter whether they 
are professionals or amateurs ? There are two answers to this 
question : first, that the Gentlemen every year play the Players, 
and are naturally always anxious to beat them ; and, secondly, 
that the more cricket gets into the hands of professional 
players, the worse it will be for the game and its reputation. 
We would not say one word against the personal character of 
the English professional cricketer, for the great majority of this 
class are honest, hard-working, and sober men. We only 
say that it is not in the interests of cricket that any branch 
of the game should be left entirely in their hands. Your 
professional, as a rule, is the son of a small tradesman, or 
person in that rank of life, and has been born in a neighbour- 
hood where the greatest interest is taken in sport of all kinds, 


cricket during the summer months being sedulously played. 
These neighbourhoods are far more frequent in the northern 
than the southern counties, the sporting tendencies of the 
people of Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Nottingham being de- 
veloped to a much greater extent than in the more southern 
shires. These three counties, and especially Notts, turn out 
large quantities of young professionals yearly. 

A boy who has been born in one of these cricketing districts 
is sure to devote a fair share of his time to watching the 
victories and defeats of his village club, and consequently to 
imbibing that feeling of ' pleasing madness ' connected with 
the game which attacks every cricket enthusiast. The height 
of his ambition is to bowl a ball or two to the village champion 
batsman, and when the opportunity arises to gratify his wish 
you will see him, hardly higher than the stumps, bowling with 
an action exactly similar to the crack village bowler, and scorn- 
ing to encroach so much as an inch over the line of the bowling 
stump. And oh ! what sleepless nights ensue from the antici- 
pation of actually seeing with his own eyes on the following 
Saturday one of the real cracks of England— one who has 
positively played in Gentlemen v. Players, or represented Eng- 
land against Australia ! No wonder the boy becomes imbued 
with keenness for the game, when everyone in the village, from 
the parson to the old lady who keeps the sweetshop, is con- 
tinually talking ab6ut cricket. As the boy grows older he 
begins to make his mark in the village club, and when he is 
eighteen or nineteen, to the delight of his father, mother, 
sisters, and himself, he is selected to make one of the twenty- 
two colts of his county that are chosen to play against the 
county team. After having played in public, and perhaps tasted 
the pleasures of success, the father finds that his son is rest- 
less and disturbed in his trade, and wishes to give it up and 
become a professional cricketer. So it happens that his name 
is sent up to the county secretary as wanting a situation, and 
the young fellow finds himself launched into the world on his 
own account as a cricket professional. 

With regard to the young man's prospect of success on 

H 2 


starting in his new life, we are bound to say that, assuming he 
has only the average cricket ability of the ordinary professional, 
his chances of even making a livelihood are not particularly 
bright. He may, and no doubt will, earn as much as 2/. a week, 
or even more, during the summer months; but at the end 
of August or beginning of September he will find himself 
with very little money in his pocket, and seven of the coldest 
and worst months of the year to face. He may get employ- 
ment in the winter months — many professionals do, either as 
colliers or as porters, or some other work. We have known 
them to do clerk's work for railways in the winter ; but all work 
for men only willing to stick to it for a few months is ex- 
tremely uncertain, and there can be no doubt that many 
cricket professionals have a bad time in the winter. 

On the whole, professionals who have an assured place in 
their county eleven have, for men of their social position, a 
very good time. They only get nominally 5/. a match, but this 
often means a minimum wage of 10/. a week, and besides this 
they are well known and consequently well advertised, and this 
means a good deal. Many have shops for sale of cricket 
goods and golf clubs, footballs and archery, cum 7nultis a/it's. 
A great many become publicans, which, though many of us 
think a loathsome profession, is at any rate a livelihood, and 
they become publicans because they are well known and 
popular, and brewers like such men to manage their public- 
houses. Even if they keep no shop, they are constantly selling 
bats and balls, and a fair proportion of them, the picked men 
of the profession, get permanent posts in public schools. When 
there is no county match on a great many, especially in the 
North, get engagements in the detestable modern one-day 
league match. Leaving publicans out of the question, at the 
present day, from our own knowledge, the following old and 
young professionals keep cricket shops : Daft, Shaw and 
Shrewsbury, Gunn, Watson, Briggs, Sugg, Nichols, Abel, the 
two Quaifes, Walter Wright, Baldwin, Peate, Ward, Tunnicliffe, 
and George Hearne, and there are no doubt many more ; 
while the following have permanent engagements as coaches 


at schools, often with a shop also: Wright' of' Nottingham, 
Louis Hall, Woof, Emmett, F. Ward, Wootton, and Painter. 

In addition to all this, in some counties there has arisen, 
in the last year or so, a system of winter wages, or a bonus 
paid about Christmas, and when all things are considered, we 
cannot help thinking that a professional of ability who is 
steady has a better time of it than any other working man ; 
and even if not a publican or shopkeeper, many have trades 
to which they can turn their hands in the winter. 

The first-class professional cricketer is usually a well-made, 
strong-looking man, ranging from two or three and twenty to 
thirty five, with agreeable, quiet manners. He is a great favour- 
ite with the crowd, and when his side is in may be seen walking 
round the ground surrounded by a body of admirers, any one 
of whom is ready and willing at any moment to treat his ideal 
hero to a glass of anything he may wish for. It is greatly to the 
player's credit that in the face of this temptation to insobriety he 
is such a sober, temperate man. I have never seen on a cricket 
field a first-class professional player the worse for drink, and I 
have only on one occasion heard the slightest whisper against the 
sobriety of such a man during the progress of a match. I believe 
that, as a class, and considering the thirsty nature of their occupa- 
tion and the opportunities that offer themselves for drinking, 
there is no more sober body of men than cricket professionals. 

Having attempted to give a short, and it is hoped im- 
partial, description of the cricket professional, let us, before 
resuming the subject of bowling, return to the assertion that 
the more cricket gets into the hands of professional players 
the worse it will be for the game and its reputation. At 
present cricket is perhaps the most popular of all our national 
recreations ; it is certainly the most popular game, though 
football has lately made great strides in popular opinion, and it 
is rightly considered to be the manliest and the freest from all 
mischievous influences. What these latter are, and what a per- 
nicious and enervating influence they exercise on other branches 
of our national sports, is known to everyone'. I allude to the 
betting and book-making element, which from the earliest days 

702 ' ' ' ' CRICKET. 

Ttas been- the- curse ■&* sport. What is the worst feature about 
horse-racing ? To what do English lovers of true sport owe the 
fact that every racecourse is the rendezvous of the biggest black- 
guards and knaves in the kingdom ? Is it not betting, and the 
pecuniary inducement it offers to every kind of dirty, shabby 
practice ? The sullying influence has spread to the running- 
path, and even, if report says true, to the river and football 
field. Happily there is never the slightest whisper of suspicion 
against the straightness of our cricket players, and this is entirely 
owing to the absence of the betting element in connection with 
the game. It is an unfortunate fact that the tendency of first- 
class cricket nowadays is to swamp the amateur by the pro- 
fessional. Some of our best county teams are almost wholly 
composed of the latter class. The time taken up in big matches 
is so great, owing to their being drawn out by a late start and 
early finish each day, that the amateur is beginning to realise 
his inability to give up from his business or profession so much 
of this valuable commodity. What has happened in conse- 
quence ? Cricket — i.e. first-class cricket — is becoming a regular 
monetary speculation. Thousands upon thousands troop almost 
daily to see the big matches, flooding the coffers of the county 
or club, which does its very best to spin out the match for the 
sake of the money. If this continue, our best matches will be- 
come nothing better than gate-money contests, to the detriment 
of the true interests of the game and its lovers. 

Bowling is as much worthy of the name of an art as any other 
branch of sport. The skill, science, and practice which are neces- 
sary before a man can throw a good salmon fly, or before he 
can reckon on bringing down a good average of high rocketing 
pheasants, are equally necessary for one who wishes to become 
an adept at bowling. Perhaps bowling does not require the 
same oneness of hand and eye as batting, but it demands, if 
possible, more practice and experience, and to a far greater 
extent the exercise of mental qualities. The object of the 
bowler is to outmanoeuvre the batsman j he has either to hit 
the stumps or draw him into some incautiousness or hesitation 
of play, which will result in the ball being caught from the bat 


or in the batsman being stumped out by the wicket-keeper. 
This is a wide field, and suggests at once that to become profi- 
cient a bowler must think — and think deeply too— not once 
or twice every few minutes, but before each ball, for none 
should ever be delivered without a particular object. Every 
ball must be part and parcel of a scheme which the bowler has 
in his mind for getting rid of the batsman. The object of every 
bowler, whether fast or slow, is always to bowl what is called a 
' good length ' — i.e. to pitch the ball so close to the batsman 
that he cannot play it on the ' bounce,' or, in cricket parlance, 
1 on the long-hop,' and yet so far from him that he cannot play 
it just as it touches the ground or immediately on the rise — i.e. 
on the ; half- volley.' There can be no precise measurement of 
the exact spot on which the ' good-length ' ball must pitch, as it 
is constantly varying according to the state of the ground, the 
pace of the bowler, and the size and style of the batsman. When 
the ground is ' slow ' and ' sticky ' from recent rain, the good- 
length ball will have to be pitched considerably farther than 
when it is ' hard ' and ' fast,' as of course the ball will come faster 
off the ground when it is in the latter state than when in the 
former. The reason why the bowling of this particular ball is 
always the object of every bowler is because it compels the bats- 
man to meet the ball with the bat by forward play, and because 
in so doing he often loses sight of the ball from the moment it 
touches the ground till it strikes the bat. No one can be 
called a good bowler until he has the power at will of bowling 
ball after ball of this sort. It often happens when two batsmen 
are well set, and every wile and ' dodge ' of the bowlers has 
been tried without avail, that two bowlers will have to go on to 
bowl, or try to bowl, nothing else but good-length balls, in the 
hopes of keeping down the runs. If this can be done effectually, 
a batsman is bound through impatience to make a mistake which 
in time may cost him his wicket. 

Every ball that leaves the bowler's hand has, in addition to 
the propelling power imparted by the bowler, one of four differ- 
ent motions. The ball as it travels is either spinning from right 
to left ; or from left to tight; or with a downward vertical motion ; 


or an upward vertical motion. It is a fact that it is well-nigh 
an impossibility for a ball to leave the hand of the veriest 
beginner without having one of these four motions to a certain 
extent imparted to it. 

On these four rotary motions depends how much and in 
what direction the ball will twist or deviate from its course, and 
also the speed and height it will assume after touching the 
ground. One of the arts of a bowler is to cheat the batsman 
by making the ball pitch in one spot and, after the pitch, 
suddenly take a different direction ; another is to make the 
ball rise quicker off the ground than a batsman would be led 
to expect from the ordinary rules of reflection. These arts are 
accomplished by different movements of the fingers and hand 
at the moment of delivering the ball ; for the reason why every 
ball has a certain amount of spin on it is because the fingers, 
being in contact with the ball as it leaves the hand, cause it 
to rotate (though perhaps so infinitesimally as not to be notice- 
able) on its journey to the ground. 

The spin, or rotary motion, from right to left is gained by 
grasping the ball chiefly with the thumb and first and second 
fingers, the third and fourth fingers being placed together round 
the other side of the ball. The moment the ball leaves the 
hand the latter is turned quickly over from right to left, and at 
the same time the first and second finger and thumb, coming 
over with the hand, impart a powerful twist to the ball, which 
leaves the hand when the latter is turned palm downwards. 
There is also at the time of delivery an outward and upward 
movement of the elbow which gives the arm the shape of a curve, 
or almost a semicircle. The ball goes on its way spinning 
rapidly from right to left, and the moment it touches the 
ground twists very sharply towards the off side of the batsman. 
This ball, termed in cricket parlance the ' leg-break,' when 
well bowled is perhaps one of the most deadly of all balls, but it 
is also the most difficult for a bowler to master. It is always 
a slow ball, as to bowl it fast with any accuracy of pitch is an 
impossibility — at any rate, it may be assumed to be so, as no 
bowler has ever yet appeared who could bowl it otherwise than 


slow. Palmer, the Australian bowler, was about the fastest 
ever known at this ball, but his faster ones were very in- 
accurate in pitch, and he could only bowl them, strange to say, 
very occasionally. The author, although he has played innings 
after innings against this bowler, never remembers receiving a 
single fast leg-break from him. The fact of the hand having 
to turn over from right to left, and of the ball being delivered 
underneath the hand, so to speak, causes it to be extremely 
difficult to attain accuracy of pitch and direction. There are 
many men who can bowl this ball in practice at the nets, but who 
never dare attempt it in a match, having no confidence what- 
ever in their ability to bowl it straight, or even fairly straight. 
It is no uncommon occurrence to see this ball, bowled by one 
who has tried it in practice, travelling somewhere near to where 
point is standing. There are some slow bowlers who have 
become fairly proficient at it, and who have enjoyed at various 
times, and especially against batsmen they have never met 
before, a certain amount of success ; but it is a style of bowling 
which should only be encouraged to the extent of enabling 
every bowler to use it occasionally. If nothing but this 
ball is bowled over after over, by constant repetition it loses 
its sting. The batsman gets wary, and when the ball is pitched 
on his leg side gets before his stumps to protect them, and hangs 
his bat in front of him, thereby rendering the loss of his wicket 
extremely improbable ; and when it is pitched straight for the 
middle stump or on the off side, knowing the danger of a hit 
at the pitch of this ball, he will simply satisfy himself with pro- 
tecting his stumps with his legs, and with letting the ball pass 
the off stump without further protest. The trap laid for the 
batsman in this style of bowling is the danger he incurs by 
hitting unless he is actually on the pitch of the ball ; if he 
falls into the snare,' the ball is perfectly certain to go up in the 
air, and generally in the direction of cover-point or mid-off. 
This, of course, is owing to the twist of the ball causing it to hit 
the side and not the centre of the bat. Should the batsman 
in the act of hitting miss the ball altogether, as is not infre- 
quently the case, he pays the penalty of being stumped unless 


he happens to be a fast-footed hitter. Now, of course, these 
two traps are well known to every good batsman, and con- 
sequently it is, as a rule, useless to bowl ball after ball of this 
nature to him — one might just as well whistle for grouse at the 
end of November to come and be shot. 

This ball, therefore, should only be bowled at intervals, and 
when according to the bowler's judgment it may have a fair 
prospect of success. Usually this happens on two occasions. 
The first is when a batsman has just begun his innings, and is 
playing nervously and without confidence ; a twisting ball then 
from the leg side is extremely apt to fluster and annoy him, 
and a catch in the slips or at point, or a catch and bowl, is 
not infrequently the result. The second is when a hitter is in, 
and is hitting to all parts of the field. Then the ball may be 
bowled with a great chance of success, especially if the man is 
anxious and impatient to hit every ball. He is extremely likely 
to hit a little short of the pitch, with the above-mentioned re- 
sult. It is not a good thing for the bowler to worry the bats- 
man with this ball if the latter seems not to like it or to play 
it nervously ; it should at most be used not more than twice 
in an over. Let the bowler always remember that too much 
of one particular ball, even if distasteful to the batsman, will 
frighten and steady him, and perhaps in the end teach him to 
play it correctly. There are some batsmen, and good batsmen 
too, who never seem to be at home to this ball, although they 
may have played it scores of times, and I remember once 
seeing an amusing incident at a match in which a bowler 
who had adopted it was playing sad havoc with the other 
side. The first three batsmen had all rushed out to try and 
hit the leg-break ball, and, failing to do so, paid the inevitable 
penalty of being stumped. Their captain was furious at their 
rashness, especially as they were all three good players ; he 
explained, and rightly, that the proper way to play the 
ball was either by hitting it on the full volley — i.e. before it 
touched the ground — or else remaining inside the crease and 
playing it quietly. He went in himself, intending to illustrate 
this principle, and, lo and behold! was stumped the very first 


ball he received. He scraped forward a long way to meet the 
ball, missed it, and remained in a most elegant Fuller Pilch- 
like attitude, fondly imagining the toe of his boot was inside 
the crease. It was, as a matter of fact, a good inch outside 
it. In that match there were five stumped each innings off 
the same bowler, and the captain was one of them both times. 
On another occasion a batsman with rather thin and weedy 
looking legs kept jumping in front of his stumps every time this 
ball was delivered. Finally the ball, discovering the weak spot 
in this gentleman's physical proportions, managed to find (just 
above the knees) an opening large enough for it to pass through 
and dislodge the bails. Great was his astonishment and disgust, 
and as he retired crestfallen to the pavilion he said to the 
writer, who was one of the fielding side on that occasion, • It was 
not the ball or the bowler that did that ; it was all owing to my 
confoundedly skinny legs ! ' A dodge well worth trying with this 
ball is to bowl a good length about two feet to the leg of the 
batsman ; he is nearly sure to have a hit, and there is a great 
chance of the spin on the ball causing it to be a miss-hit, which 
may go straight up in the air, for the wicket-keeper, point, or 
bowler to secure; even if it is a clean hit to legit is nearly bound 
to be in the air, and long-leg may possibly have a chance. It 
this scheme is to be practised it will be generally a good thing 
for the bowler to have his long-leg perfectly square, and bring 
his long field on round till he is almost in the position of a for- 
ward long-leg. This should be done by quietly waving the 
hand in such a manner as to attract the attention of the bats- 
man as little as possible. It is impossible to lay down any 
rule for the way in which the fieldsmen should be placed for 
this style of bowling, as this depends so much upon the play of 
each particular batsman. A long-leg is, however, nearly always 
necessary, and very often an extra man out on the leg side, as 
mentioned already. Two men out in the field for the average 
batsman cannot be dispensed with. The bowler himself, as a 
rule, will know how to place his field for each batsman, but on 
no occasion should he ever omit to have a short-slip. This is 
such a very likely place to get a batsman snapped up that it 


should never be dispensed with to any style of bowling, except 
perhaps to slow under-arm, and not always then. A slow bowler 
who intends to use the leg-break, let us say, once an over, or even 
once in two overs, and who relies on this ball as most likely 
to secure wickets, may on ordinary occasions place his men 
thus, but, as we said before, they must be changed to suit the 

If the ground is hard and fast, as a rule a third man cannot 
be dispensed with; but if inclined to be slow, he may be brought 
forward to extra cover-point, between cover-point and mid-off, 
or else put deep in the field on the on side. The bowler may, 
however, see that the batsman is wide enough awake to restrain 
himself from hitting blindly at the pitch of this ball when 
straight or on the off stump ; it will then be advisable to try him 
entirely on the leg side — a man may refuse the bait on one side 
but take it on the other. In these circumstances extra cover- 
point, and sometimes even cover-point as well, may be brought 
across the wicket and placed for half-hits wide on the on — i.e. 
about half the distance from the batsman that a deep field 
would stand. If the batsman assumes a poky style of play, it 
is often advantageous, both for saving runs and getting wickets, 
to have a short-leg a little nearer the stumps than the umpire, and 
the mid-on as near to the batsman as he can venture consistently 
with safety. In this, as in every other style of bowling, it is a 
sovereign rule to make the batsman play to the ball— i.e. to keep 
it well pitched up, and compel him either to hit or play forward. 

A very novel style of this kind of bowling was seen on English 
cricket grounds in the summer of 1884, when the Australian 
team of that year included W. H. Cooper, so well known to all 
our cricketers who have visited the colonies. He bowled round 
the wicket, and nearly every ball almost a wide to leg. There 
was more spin and twist on the ball than had ever been seen in 
this country before (excepting, perhaps, in the bowling of Mr. 
Stratford, who played for a year or two for Middlesex, but who 
never made his mark in first-class cricket). The ball seemed 
to be twisted or screwed out of the side of his hand in the 
way a billiard-marker will screw a billiard-ball along the table 


to a certain spot, and then bring it back to him. But, unfor- 
tunately for him, he was unable to combine any pace with this 
tremendous twist. The ball was extraordinarily slow in the 
air, but directly it pitched it would spin off the ground 
comparatively quickly, twisting into the batsman on the faster 
wickets, sometimes as much as a yard or more. All his men 
except two were on the on side, and he expected his wickets to 
be obtained by the impatience of the batsman causing him to 
rush out, miss, and get stumped, or else by wide hitting at the 
pitch of the ball on the leg side, where there were seven fielders 
with seven pretty sure pairs of hands waiting for it. In Australia 
he had met with a fair share of success, especially against some 
of the English elevens which had been over there. It was this 
latter consideration which induced the Australian authorities 
to believe that he would be a useful addition to their team. 
His bowling was most unsuccessful in this country. Whethej 
this was due to an accident to his hand on the voyage to 
England, or from the light here being not so glaring and 
bright for our English eyes as it is in Australia, cannot 
be said for certain, but I have a strong opinion from my 
own experience that the reason of his success in Melbourne 
against Englishmen was owing to the dreadful glare on that 

One peculiarity of the leg-twisting ball is that when the 
ground is soft and sticky it is comparatively of no avail. The 
ball then, of course, twists to a greater extent than when 
the ground is hard, but it leaves the pitch so very slowly that 
the batsman can either wait for it on the long-hop or hit it on 
the full or half-volley. The leg-break ball on a soft ground, 
if bowled at all, must be bowled faster than on hard, 
in order to counteract the deadness of the turf. The best 
states of the ground for this bowling, as indeed for most, are 
when the ground has been hard and fast, and has since become 
crumbly and covered with loose bits of grass and worn 
turf, and when there has been heavy rain to saturate the ground 
which is being rapidly dried and caked by a hot sun. In the 
former state the ball takes plenty of twist, and also leaves the 


ground very quickly, in addition to sometimes getting up un- 
comfortably high for the batsman. In the caked state the ball 
takes lots of twist, and puzzles the batsman by the varied and 
uneven paces at which it leaves the ground, sometimes coming 
sharply and high, at other stopping on the ground and, in bats- 
man's parlance, ' getting up and looking at you.' 









The leg-break diagram. 

These positions of the fieldsmen will suit under-arm bowling, except that, perhaps 
extra mid-off inay be put out on the on side. 

The 'leg-break ' ball is usually bowled from round the wicket, 
as from this side there is more scope for the bowler to make 
the ball twist. It is doubtless the best side of the stumps to 
choose for the delivery of this ball, but every bowler should re- 
member that it is very nearly as good as a change of bowling to 


change from 'round ' to f over' the wicket, and this is especially 
so with leg-break balls. The ball delivered from round the 
wicket generally leaves the hand a good foot outside the ex- 
tremity of the bowling crease ; this means that it starts about 
4 feet 4 inches from the middle stump of the bowler's wicket, 
and in its journey through the air, even if pitched in a line with 










Position of field if bowling on leg side. 

the leg stump of the batsman's wicket, it has to make consider- 
able way from the leg side of the wicket. This, of course, makes 
the ball go across the wicket more from the pitch, and, as a rule, 
means that a leg-stump leg-break ball round the wicket misses 
the wicket on the off side. A batsman, if the ball is pitched off 
his wicket, may defend it, as the rule of leg before wicket now 


stands, with his legs, and consequently the bowler has not much 
chance of hitting it. When bowled from over the wicket the leg- 
break ball, being deliveied in a direct line with the batsman's 
wicket, will naturally, if pitched on the leg-stump or between the 
legs and the wicket, not twist so much, thus making it more likely 
to hit the wicket if missed by the batsman. There is also a 
diiect advantage to be gained by bowling over the wicket if the 
batsman is inclined to get in front of his stumps, as there is 
always a better chance for the bowler to get an appeal for 
leg before wicket answered in his favour than when bowling 
from the other side. 

Although, as previously mentioned, there has never been 
any instance of the leg-break ball being bowled by a fast 
bowler, some of the best bowlers of the past generation of 
cricketers used to bowl with a considerable bias from the leg 
side, and were also of well over medium pace. Martingell and 
Silcock were bowlers of this class. This old style was very 
effective, and it is greatly to be regretted that it has almost 
entirely disappeared from the game at the present day. It 
differed from the slow ball that has been discussed only in 
the amount of spin ; and as there was so much less power ex- 
pended in spinning or twisting, the pace of the ball was greatly 
in excess of that which can be got on to the slow leg-break. 
The ball was delivered round the wicket, at the very extent of 
the crease, in order to make the angle from the hand to an 
imaginary straight line between the two middle stumps as great 
as possible. The hand was very little higher than the hip when 
the ball was delivered, and instead of the hand and wrist being 
completely turned over at the moment of delivery, as in the 
slow leg- break, the fingers imparted a right to left spin to the 
ball. The ball, coming from a great distance round the 
wicket and with a considerable amount of leg spin, would be 
gradually working away to the batsman's off side every inch 
of its journey, both before and after pitching. Catches in 
the slips and on the off side were numerous from this style 
of bowling, and it required the batsman's greatest care and 



caution to guard himself against playing inside the balls 
is a great pity we do not see more of this bowling now. 

The next spin or twist on the ball which we will discuss is 
the rotary motion from left to right. This, in cricket phrase- 
ology, is termed the ' off ' break, and is far more universal than 
that from the ' leg.' In fact, so common is it, and so easy to learn, 

The leg-break. 

that nearly everyone who has ever bowled in a match knows 
more or less how to put this spin on the ball. It is, of course, 
always easier to get spin on to a slow ball than on to a fast one. 
When the ball to be delivered is a slow one, the fingers and 
hand may be twisted into almost any shape, as so little power 
is required actually to deliver the ball ; all the strength of hand, 



Likely balls ; and what may become of them if 
not correctly played. 

a, a likely one for a wild hitter to get himself out on 
the off" side ; b and c , likely for a stump, or, if hit 
with straight bat, a catch to deep field-off ; d and e, 
likely for ' catch and bowl : ' f, long-leg and half-hit 
chances— short-slip and wicket-keeper often get an 
easy chance off this ball. 

of wrist, and of the fin- 
gers may be utilised for 
the purposes of spin 
alone. When the ball 
has to be a fast one, the 
power necessary to pro- 
pel the ball at the re- 
quired pace prevents so 
much of the power of 
fingers, &c, being ex- 
pended on spin. A slow 
ball always takes the 
spin, after leaving the 
ground, to a greater ex- 
tent than a fast one, be- 
cause it is longer on the 
ground when it pitches, 
and the spinning has 
more time to take effect 
on the turf. 

The natural spin 
on every ball which is 
bowled is from left to 
right — i.e. the off break. 
Even when a fielder 
throws in a ball from a 
distance it almost in- 
variably has this spin 
on it. If you watch the 
smallest boy in the street 
throwing a stone, you 
will find, nine times out 
of ten, the stone has ac- 
quired this spin. It is 
then no wonder that al- 
most every right-handed 


bowler relies upon this twist as his principal artifice. The twist 
-depends rather more on the power of the fingers than on the 
hand and wrist, as in the ' leg-break.' The ball is usually, by a 
slow bowler, grasped firmly with all the fingers resting on the 
seam, as this gives more purchase and resistance for the fingers 
to operate: The latter at the moment of delivery spin the ball, 
almost in the same way as they would spin a top, and instead 
of an upward and outward motion of the elbow, as in the ' leg- 
break,' there is an inward motion towards the side of the bowler. 
The hand is turned over outwards when the ball is delivered, 
and, if properly bowled and pitched just outside the off stump, 
and under good conditions of ground, the ball, after the pitch, 
will change its course abruptly towards the batsman and the 

Differing from the ' leg-break,' this ball can with practice 
be accompanied by a great accuracy of pitch — an accuracy 
which has been attained almost to perfection by some of our 
best known bowlers. The late James Southerton, the famous 
Surrey bowler, could bowl in this style for hours with only a 
very occasional variation from a perfect ' good length.' Alfred 
Shaw, of Nottingham, in his day was perhaps the greatest 
exponent of accuracy of pitch combined with the slow 'off 
break,' or what is generally termed ' break-back.' This ball 
should be bowled a good length, and generally about two or 
three inches outside the off stump. 

Of course the amount of twist the ball will take depends 
on the state of the ground, and this should at once be apparent 
to the bowler. The danger most to be apprehended by the 
batsman from the off break is that in playing forward, if not 
quite on the pitch of the ball, he is very apt, owing to the twist, 
to play outside, and allow it to pass between his bat and right 
leg to the wicket. It is never a wise thing for the bowler to 
use the ' off break ' every ball, although there are many who 
do so. Even if he is devoid of all other artifice, and has no 
command over the arts of 'change of pace,' 'flight,' or the 'leg- 
break,' he should often vary his style by a ball without any 

1 2 



twist at all, and this should not always be straight. If a bats- 
man has been playing over after over nothing but good-length 
1 off break/ a ball pitched about the same spot, two or three 
inches outside the off stump, and without any off break at all, 
will very often be found to go to hand in the slips, because 
the batsman is expecting the break and plays inside the ball. 

The off break. 

The fast 'off break' is a most deadly ball, and Lock- 
wood, Richardson, Mold, and Hearne are four bowlers who 
have a consistent break. A slight slope in the ground 
from the off side is always a great advantage to fast bowlers 
who try the 'break-back.' This comparatively rare ball, 



when it does come, is sure to try the very best batsman. 
Its difficulty arises from the fact that the ball is of such 
a pace as to necessitate quick forward play, when the sud- 
den turn after the pitch causes it to be missed. For playing 
■ off breaks ' of all paces, it is a great and 
golden rule for batsmen to remember : Never 
allow space between the bat and the left leg 
for the ball to pass through. This rule, which 
insures the left leg of the batsman being 
placed well across the wicket when playing 
forward, if followed, will render it almost 
impossible for him to be bowled out with an 
1 off break.' It is an astounding fact that this 
simple rule, which should be patent to every- 
one, seems unknown to all our best batsmen 
with one or two notable exceptions. W. G. 
•Grace has always played with his leg up to 
his bat, thereby preventing the ball from 
finding an opening between the tw T o. W. W. 
Read, of Surrey, is another who plays thus. 
We do not express any opinion here as to 
the bearing of this rule on the leg-before- 
wicket question. It is sufficient for a bats- 
man at present, as the rule now stands, that 
so long as the ball does not pitch between 
the two wickets he cannot be given out 

The two 'spins,' from the leg and the 
■off, are the chief and most important for all 
practical purposes. If a bowler by con- 
stant practice has acquired the power of 
twisting the ball from off or leg at will, and can at the same 
time bowl a ' good length,' he has laid a tolerable foundation 
for future success. We say tolerable, because, in bowling, twist, 
as we shall see later on, is not everything ; it is an essential 
element in good bowling, but it is only one of several, all of 

' Off breaks.' 

Bj c, all good ones ; 
d, if the batsman stands 
with his legs some way 
from the leg stump, this 
is likely to bowl him 
off his legs : but it is a 
beauty to hit on the on 


which must combine together before anyone can earn the repu- 
tation of a first-class bowler. 

The two other spins which can be put on the ball are 
what have been called the * upward vertical ' and the ' downward 
vertical.' By the 'upward vertical,' I mean when the ball spins 
in its way to the ground vertically, and upwards with regard to- 
the bowler. It may be compared to the spin imparted to the 
billiard ball in the screw stroke. This is effected by striking 
the ball low down, which makes it revolve in its course upwards. 
The effect this upward revolution has is seen when the 
striker's ball meets the object ball, the former having a decided 
inclination to stop and return to the striker. In the same way 
a cricket ball, when made to revolve upwards, has a tendency 
to stop and go slower off the pitch than it went before it 
reached the ground. 

This twist, as a matter of fact, is never practised ; and 
it is a great pity that more attention has not been paid to 
it. Of course it is very much more difficult to make the 
ball revolve in this manner than in either the leg or the off 
break, but it is quite within the powers of the possessor of a 
fairly strong set of fingers. The lower half only of the ball 
should be held, so that the upper half protrudes above the 
hand and fingers, and at the moment of delivery, which must 
be from the level of the shoulder or lower, the fingers and 
hand must impart as much upward spin as possible. 

The downward vertical spin is the reverse of this, and is 
caused by the upper half of the ball being grasped instead of 
the lower, as in the upward. This spin imparts to the ball 
a tendency to come quicker from the pitch than the pace 
in the air would seem to suggest, and is analogous to the 
1 following up ' stroke at billiards. The latter is made by 
striking the ball at the top, making it revolve downwards and 
vertically from the striker. Very many bowlers possess this 
downward spin in their bowling without being at all aware of 
the fact. They know, as also do those who play against them, 
that every now and then one of their balls will, in cricket slang. 



'make haste from the pitch.' The batsman finds he has mis- 
taken the pace of the ball, which flies past him before he 
is anything like ready to play it, and when his stumps lie 
prostrate, as often as not he will come back to the pavilion with 
the old, old story, ' Bowled with a shooter ; ' whereas, in fact, 
the ball has hit the middle or even upper part of his stumps. 
He has entirely lost the ball from the pitch owing to his mis- 
judgment of its pace, and concludes erroneously that it has 
shot underneath his bat. 

We have now considered the four kinds of spin which can 
be put on to a cricket ball. Of course there may be combina- 
tions of two kinds, as, for instance, the ball may be spinning 
from right to left or left to right, and at the same time be 
revolving to a certain extent vertically downwards or upwards ; 
but it would be impossible to discuss the result of every such 

The ball may break from ' leg,' and at the same time show 
by its acceleration in speed after the pitch that it has been 
revolving downwards as well, and the same may happen with 
the break from the ' off ; ' but such variations are beyond the 
reach of any practical discussion. 

Let us now turn to another element of good bowling — 
change of pace. It does not require any great amount of 
technical cricket knowledge to understand that, if a bowler 
delivers every ball at the same uniform pace, his bowling is 
easier for a batsman to judge and play than when he is con- 
tinually altering and changing the pace. If a batsman mis- 
judges the pace of the ball he often loses his wicket. If he 
plays too slow for a fast ball, or too fast for a slow one, he 
generally makes a fatal mistake. As it is necessary for a shooter 
to accurately judge the pace of a driven grouse before pulling 
the trigger, so is it equally necessary for a batsman to judge the 
pace of the ball before he plays to it. This power of judging 
pace only comes after long experience ; but when it does exist 
it seems to be exercised almost intuitively, and without any 
conscious thought — indeed there is often no time for thought. 


Perhaps the one thing which made Mr. Spofforth, the famous 
Australian bowler, superior at his best to all others, and has 
earned him the reputation of being the best bowler that has ever 
lived, was his wonderful power of changing the pace of the ball 
without making it perceptible to the batsman. In his bowling 
the same run, action, and exertion were apparently used for de- 
livering a slow or medium-paced ball as for a fast one. Many 
a time, especially on his first arrival in England, when this bowl- 
ing was strange to our batsmen, the ball seemed to dislodge the 
bails long after the bat had completed the stroke, and was per- 
haps high in the air. Change of pace, to be effective, must not 
mean change of action ; and the first thing a bowler who wishes 
to practise this art must understand, is that the slightest varia- 
tion in style or action for a slower or faster ball will at once put 
the batsman on the quivive and destroy the effect of the device. 

C. T. B. Turner, the Australian bowler, was a great adept 
at changing the pace of the ball without sounding any warning 
note to the batsman. He is one of the very finest bowlers we 
have ever seen bowl ; he has great command over the ball, 
and a beautiful and easy delivery. His performances in this 
country have been wonderful ; the only defect in his bowling 
which, in the writer's opinion, keeps him from being considered 
Spofforth's equal is that his action is too easy to see. A good 
batsman is not so likely to be deceived by him as readily as by 
Spofforth's windmill deliveries. 

When a slow or medium-pace bowler wishes to deceive 
the batsman by a change of pace, he has, of course, two courses 
open to him — either to accelerate the speed of the ball or 
diminish it. When he wishes to bowl a faster ball than usual, 
he must remember that the object of the experiment is to make 
the batsman play slower to the ball than he has been doing, 
and that this result will be far more easily accomplished by 
pitching a good-length — if anything, a little further than a good- 
length — ball, than by a short one. If the latter is bowled, the 
batsman, although deceived in the pace up to the pitch, has 
time to discover his mistake before the ball reaches him, and 


consequently has his bat ready in time to stop it. If a ball 
is, however, pitched a good length, or a trifle beyond it, and up 
to the pitch is successful in deceiving the batsman, he will not 
have much chance of stopping it afterwards. 

Palmer, another of the famous Australians, sends down the 
best fast ball that has been seen from a medium-pace bowler. 
There is no change of action to warn the batsman, no 
longer or faster run, but the ball comes with lightning rapidity, 
generally pitched well up, and very often in the block-hole, 
making that most deadly ball a ' fast yorker,' about which 
something will be said farther on. The change from slow 
or medium-pace bowling to quite slow is much more frequently 
practised than the change to fast, and consequently we may 
presume it is more easy of accomplishment. There are few 
slow or medium-pace bowlers who do not try occasionally to 
deceive the batsman by making the high slow ball pitch a little 
shorter than the rest have been doing. But although there are 
many bowlers who endeavour thus to deceive, there are but 
few who are really skilful in the art. 

It is an extremely difficult thing to reduce the pace on the 
ball without altering the action. Mr. SporTorth, the Australian, 
as we have observed, excelled in this, as also did Alfred 
Shaw, of Nottingham, when at his best. For many years 
Shaw had the reputation of being the best slow bowler in 
England, and justly so. His most deadly device was, after 
he had bowled three or four of his ordinary paced ones, 
to toss the ball a little higher, a little slower, and a little 
shorter. Unless the batsman detected the alteration in speed 
at the moment of delivery, he made what was often a 
fatal mistake. If he hit, the ball would go high in the air, 
generally in the direction of deep field-on ; if he played for- 
ward, a catch and bowl was the very likely result. If this ball 
is bowled without deceiving the batsman, it generally meets 
with a very heavy penalty, as, if rightly judged at first, it can 
generally be either waited for and hit almost to any part of the 
field on the ' long-hop ' or bound, or run down and driven past 


the bowler ; but the latter feat can only be accomplished by 
batsmen who are very quick on their legs. 

Some of the best exponents of this ball appear, just prior to 
delivery, to greatly exert their bodies, and go through their whole 
customary action, while the arm, dragged slower than usual 
through the air, delivers the ball when the body is compara- 
tively at rest. This, no doubt, gives the batsman the idea that 
the ball is going to be delivered before it really does leave the 
bowler's hand. But it would be quite beyond the capabilities 
of the writer to furnish any intelligible hints as to how to bowl 
this ball j every bowler will with practice find this out for himself. 

As a rule, good bowlers of the present day bowl with their 
arms above the shoulder, and it is a rudiment in the art that 
the action of delivery should be as high as possible. The 
high delivery is certainly the most successful where the ground 
is hard, fast, and true, as then little or no twist can be put on 
to the ball, and the higher it is made to bound the more chance 
there is of the batsman making an uppish stroke. In addition 
to this advantage which the high has over the low delivery, the 
higher the arm is raised above the shoulder the more difficult 
it is for a batsman to judge the pitch and flight of the ball. 

With regard to the amount of success that slow and fast 
bowling meet with, a great deal depends on the state of the 
ground, but speaking of England, and on hard wickets, fast 
bowlers are having the best of it ; at any rate, Richardson is 
far the most deadly, while Mold, Hearne, Davidson, Bland, 
Cuttell, and Hirst are very successful. In a later chapter, 
however, the causes are discussed which seem to show that 
head bowlers, bowlers who change their pace and methods, 
will have to be the bowlers of the future. But it is also true, 
as a general rule, that slow bowling is more difficult to play 
than fast. The advantages that it possesses over fast are as 
follows : — 

First. — The slowly delivered ball describes a curved line in 
the air both before it pitches and afterwards to the bat ; and 
balls coming in a curved line are far more difficult to play 

BOWLING. 123. 

accurately than those which come quick and straight from the 
pitch. If the batsman properly judged the fast ball, by simply 
putting his bat straight forward he would always meet and 
stop it. It is not quite so with the slower ball. The ball, 
coming on to the ground in a curve, will leave it in a curve, and 
may consequently go over the shoulder of the bat. Besides., 
the quicker the ball is, the shorter time the batsman has to play 
it ; his mode of playing must be decided on instantaneously, 
so he has no time to get into two minds on the subject. 

Secondly. — In slow bowling there is always more actual hit- 
ting than in fast, and the more hitting the greater chance there is 
of the ball going up in the air. Fast bowling may perhaps be 
driven more — that is to say, it may be pushed hard by good for- 



ward play in front of the wicket in all directions ; but it is not 
often with this style of bowling that the bat is lifted high in the 
air, and the shoulders, arms, and whole body combine together 
for a big hit or ' slog/ as it is sometimes called, whereas slows 
often tempt the best of batsmen to hit without quite getting on 
to the pitch of the ball, the consequence being that the ball 
goes up in the air somewhere. 

It is a very common occurrence to see a slow bowler who is 
bowling really well, and with tolerable success, taken off at once 
on the advent of some batsman who has earned a reputation 
for big hitting. He himself may be nervous about the fearful 


smashing the batsman may give him, and suggest to his cap- 
tain to put on some fast bowler in his place, or else the captain 
may make the change himself. What is the usual result ? The 
fast bowler compels the hitter to play a steady game, and then, 
when the latter has just got his eye well set and fit for hitting, 
on go the slows again, with the probable result of being utterly 
knocked to pieces in a few overs. If the slows had been 
allowed a chance at first, when the batsman's eye had not got 
settled down to the light, and he himself was still suffering 
from the nervousness inevitable to every man on first going in, 
what a different tale might have been told ! It is always the 
best thing to put on slows to a big hitter when he first comes 
in. His anxiety to begin to hit at once is fostered by the slow, 
easy-looking balls that give him such time to lift his bat and 
put his whole strength into the stroke ; this anxiety is often 
helped, too, by his nervousness, which in many instances pro- 
duces a tendency to hit. 

On a certain occasion one of the biggest hitters our cricket 
grounds have ever seen made about eighty runs without having 
a single slow ball bowled to him. The captain at last put on 
a slow bowler out of sheer desperation. As the slow bowler 
walked up to the wicket to bowl, the big hitter turned to him 
and said, 'What, are you going to bowl your donkey-drops? 
I'll hit them all out of the ground/ ■ If you keep on doing it 
I shall have to go off/ was the modest reply. The third ball 
of the over there was a terrific slog ; the bat fairly whistled with 
the speed it went through the air, and the ball, touching the 
shoulder, landed in short-slip's hands. 

There are only two exceptions to the golden rule to put on 
slows when a hitter first comes in: the first is when there is 
something peculiar connected with the condition of the ground 
which is making a fast bowler at that particular time especially 
deadly; and the second, when the condition of the game renders 
it imperatively necessary to keep down the runs at all costs. In 
the latter case a slow bowler may prove too expensive, as even 
the miss-hits of a strong hitter are apt to go to the boundary. 


Thirdly (to resume the consideration of the advantages of 
slow bowling, interrupted by the anecdote and the statement 
of the rule and its exceptions). — Slow bowling offers more 
opportunity to the wicket-keeper for stumping than fast. It 
is so tempting for a batsman to rush in and drive the slow 
tossed-up ball that often he chooses the wrong one, misses 
it, and is left standing still a yard or two out of his ground. 
Chances to the wicket-keeper are also much easier off slows 
than fast, and consequently a great many more wickets are 

Fourthly. — The very slowness of the ball induces liberties 
of all sorts to be taken, besides that of hitting mentioned 
above. The batsman, when his eye is well in, often tries to 
score by placing balls to a particular spot, which their pitch 
does not justify. A favourite error that even the best batsmen 
fall into is that of trying to hit the leg-stump half-volleys 
too much to the on side, and sometimes absolutely to leg, a 
stroke which would never enter his head were a fast bowler 

Fifthly. — A slow bowler has much greater command of pitch, 
pace, and spin than a fast one. The power which is expended 
by the latter on the pace of the ball is available by the former 
for these more subtle devices. There is consequently a much 
wider field for experiment open to the slow bowler. Usually a 
fast bowler bowls away ball after ball in the hopes of breaking 
down the batsman's defence by a good-length ball or a 'yorker ; ' 
if he fails to do this he retires in favour of the next change. A 
slow bowler has many devices, of which actually bowling the 
batsman out is perhaps very seldom resorted to. He should 
be able to pitch the ball within a few inches of the spot 
he wishes, and thus, when he has ascertained any particular 
weakness the batsman seems to possess, he is able to take 
advantage of it. There are very few batsmen who have not 
certain favourite strokes ; some may have a partiality for 
cutting, others for playing on the on side for ones and twos, 
others for off driving ; but whatever the particular penchant 


may be, a slow bowler's business is to make himself acquainted 
with it and then take the greatest possible advantage of it. 
Suppose a batsman shows by his play that he is always on the 
look-out for a cut, and even goes so far as to cut balls which 
should be driven or played forward to, on the off side, a slow 
bowler by his command of pitch and pace may do much execu- 
tion. A ball pitched a trifle further up than usual on the off 
side and a trifle faster may, and often does, induce the batsman 
to try his favourite stroke, at the imminent peril of placing the 
ball in the hands of point or third man, or of being caught at the 
wicket. A slower and higher ball than usual pitched on the leg- 
stump will often induce a batsman to try a favourite ' on side ' 
stroke, at the risk of playing with a cross bat and being bowled 
or out leg before wicket. In fact, every fault that it is possible 
for a batsman to possess may be taken advantage of by a slow 
bowler to a much greater extent than by one of great pace. 
How often one sees a batsman who has given great trouble 
dismissed by a slow bowler who seems to have absolutely 
no merit whatever ! The ball is tossed high in the air. with 
apparently no spin of any sort, and so slow as hardly to reach 
the wicket, and yet the well-set batsman falls a prey to his over- 
anxiety to play the ball where the pitch of it does not warrant. 
Sixthly. — A slow bowler has the advantage over a fast one 
of having what is equivalent to an extra man in the field, viz. 
himself. After the ball is bowled he is firm on his legs, ready to 
run in for a catch and bowl, or to dart to the on or the off side 
as the batsman shapes to play the ball. No matter how hard 
the ball is returned from the bat, he has always ample time to 
get down with the right hand or the left or to jump high in the 
air ; when the batsmen are running he is always able to get 
behind his wickets ready to receive the ball when returned by 
the fielder, a golden rule for every bowler which is too often 
neglected. A fast bowler is generally unsteady on his legs after 
the ball is delivered ; the pace with which he runs up to the 
wicket carries him on a few paces after the delivery, and he is 
thus generally unable to exhibit the same activity and sharpness 



in fielding his own bowling as a slow bowler does. In days gone 
by, when grounds were bad and rough, slow bowling was not so 
successful as fast, but the general improvement in the ground 
has altered this. 

And now, having seen some of the advantages slow bowling 
possesses over fast, and before discussing the latter's merits, let 
us see on what principles a slow bowler should endeavour to 

A hot return. 

bowl, and what rules he should follow in order to attain suc- 
cess. Whilst speaking of slow bowling we shall refer to 
any pace under that of medium, as the rules and principles 
of medium are included in what is said on fast bowling. 
Perhaps the most important thing that every bowler, whether 
fast, medium, or slow, should realise is, as we have said before, 
to keep the ball well pitched up when a batsman first comes in. 

12 8 CRICKET. 

The importance of this rule is manifest, as a short-pitched ball 
requires no play, whereas one pitched a good length, or even 
farther, requires steadiness and accuracy of eye to play ; 
because there is a moment after its pitch when it is lost to the 
vision, and consequently if the eye lacks accuracy the ball will 
be missed or bungled. An old professional cricketer, one who 
has made his mark in times gone by both with bat and ball, 
once observed to the author, ' Anything rather than straight long- 
hops, sir, when a man first comes in ; wides and full-pitches are 
better,' and he was right ; straight long-hops, which, alas ! many 
of our professional bowlers bowl only too often, in order to 
prevent runs being made off them, do more to get in the eyes 
of batsmen than any other sort of ball. Often and often 
one sees a bowler, and perhaps one who has the name of 
being first-class, send down to a new batsman straight long- 
hops one after the other — balls which it is impossible, or nearly 
so, to score off, and then at the end of each over walk to his 
place with a thoroughly satisfied air, as if adding one more 
maiden over to his analysis had really helped his side on to 
the ultimate goal of victory. It is always better for a bowler 
to see a fresh batsman make half a dozen runs from well-pitched 
balls or half-volleys his first over than to see him stop four 
straight long-hops. 

On the fall of a wicket the bowler should always remember 
that the new batsman is entirely unaccustomed to the light 
and not yet warm to his work, and that consequently the pet 
devices which may have been clearly seen through and merci- 
lessly punished by the retiring batsman are for the present quite 
fresh for the new one. He should consequently begin by doing 
all he can to get rid of him at once before he gets ' set.' He 
should in the first two or three overs try every effective ball he 
knows — and certainly in the first over he should try a 'yorker.' 
This ball, called in days gone by a ' tice,' an abbreviation of 
' entice,' is certainly one of the most deadly balls that can be 
bowled, if not absolutely the most deadly. We believe that, if 
statistics could be kept of how every wicket fell during the 


course of a season, more would be found victims to the 'yorker' 
than to any other ball. We can find no derivation for the word 
' yorker,' but are told that it came from the Yorkshiremen, who 
were fonder of bowling this ball than any other. A story is told 
of a famous old Yorkshire professional who, on being asked 
whether he knew why this ball was called a ' yorker,' replied, 
' Of course I do.' 'Well?' said his questioner. 'Why, what 
else could you call it ? ' was the answer, with a puzzled look and 
a scratch on the top of his head. The ordinary definition of a 
1 yorker ' is a ball that pitches inside the crease, and this, no 
doubt, is correct so far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. 
It really should be, any ball that pitches directly underneath the 
bat. It is quite possible for a man to be bowled out with a 
1 yorker ' when he is two or three yards out of his ground, if he 
misjudges the ball, and allows it to pitch directly beneath his 
bat, although the ball pitches as far from the crease as he is 
standing. The most deadly sort of ' yorker,' however, is the one 
that pitches about three or four inches inside the crease. One 
mistake which the batsman makes with this ball is that he 
imagines it is going to pitch shorter for a half-volley, and gets 
ready to hit, when he finds the ball coming farther than he ex 
pected, and is then too late to stop it. Another grave error 
which many batsmen fall into is that of lifting their bats up, after 
judging the pace and pitch of the ■ yorker,' intending to come 
down on it as it touches the ground, which really is at the very 
last moment. It seems an easy thing to stop a ' yorker ' in this 
way, but it really requires the greatest nicety in timing, and a 
moment late means that the ball has passed and the stumps are 
down. Whenever a batsman is playing ' yorkers ' by chopping 
down on them inside his crease, it is as certain as can be that 
he is not at all at home with them, and the bowler may hope 
for success with every one he tries. Even if the bat does come 
down on a ' yorker ' in the crease at the last moment, it often 
dribbles on with the spin, and just dislodges the bails. The 
only proper, workmanlike way to deal with ' yorkers ' is to play 
them forward. The bat should be thiust forward directly the 



ball is seen to be right up to the batsman, and then it cannot 
fail to be stopped. One great peculiarity of ' yorkers ' is that 
it is impossible to bowl such a ball to some batsmen. W. G. 
Grace hardly ever gets one ; directly the ball leaves the bowler's 
hand he sees its destination, viz. an inch inside the crease ; he 
puts the bat out to meet the ball, and makes it one of the 
easiest possible, viz. a full-pitch. If there were no such thing 
as misjudgment on the part of a batsman, there would be no such 
thing as a ' yorker.' It depends for its very existence on being 
taken for something else. If every batsman were perfectly 
accurate in his sight and judgment of pitch, every so-called 
'yorker' would be neither more nor less than a 'full-pitch.' 
However, as every batsman, we are thankful to say, is liable to 
err in judging the pitch, and as nearly every batsman when 
first going in is more liable to err with a 'yorker' than any 
other ball, the bowler should most decidedly try it. A slow 
bowler should first try a medium-paced 'yorker,' somewhat 
faster than his usual pace, and then a slower one. It is as- 
tonishing how many wickets fall to slow 'yorkers ;' the ball is 
mistaken for everything but what it really is, viz. a full-pitch — 
for every ball pitching inside the crease must be playable as a 

When a bowler is put on to bowl by his captain, it is his 
duty to do everything in his power to dislodge the batsman. 
It is really quite a secondary consideration for him whether 
many or few runs are being made off his bowling. It is the 
duty of the captain to tell the bowler when he wants the pace 
in the run-getting to be diminished, and then, and not till then, 
must the bowler begin to bowl straight and short with that 
object. But until certain instructions are given, the bowler 
must never stop for an instant in his endeavour to get the 
batsman's wicket. If he has experimented with every one of 
his arts and is unsuccessful, or even if he becomes too expen- 
sive in run-getting before he has done this, the captain's duty 
is to take him off. 

It is a common sight enough to see a bowler put on in a 

BOWLING, i 3 r 

match who simply dare not try the experiments which he has 
practised with success, for fear of being hit for a four or two 
and taken off. He is quite content to see ball after ball 
played full in the middle of the bat straight back to him,, 
knowing well that with such bowling he has not the re- 
motest chance of getting a wicket. In the hopes of getting a 
wicket a slow bowler should often try leg half- volleys ; they 
are, of course, delightful balls for a batsman to hit, but, at the 
present day, when the old George Parr leg hit is comparatively 
unknown — viz. to fine long-leg all along the ground well behind 
the wicket — and the leg hitting off slows is generally high and 
square, they often result in a long-leg catch, and sometimes 
one at the wicket, through the batsman hitting too quick at the 
ball. A bowler who has been sending down ball after ball with 
the off break on should often try pitching one on the same 
spot but without the break ; the batsman is very apt to play in- 
side this ball, and place it in short-slip's hands. In addition to 
the change of pace which we have above commented on, it is 
a most excellent thing occasionally to lower and heighten the 
action. Alfred Shaw used continually, by lowering his action y 
to send in a ball which skimmed, so to speak, from the pitch 
at a great pace, and much faster than his ordinary balls. The 
raising of the arm higher than usual makes the ball bound 
higher, which is very often an advantage, especially on rough 
cut-up grounds. The good-length ball outside the off stump, 
pitched perhaps eight inches to a foot wide of it, and without 
any break on at all, is often a most telling ball, especially to 
eager, excitable batsmen. The ball, not being straight, cannot 
be met with the full face of the bat, and consequently, unless 
the batsman puts his left leg right across the wicket, he 
must, in playing it, lift it up in the air, when it is probably 
captured by cover-point or mid-off. If this ball can be made to 
go ever so little from the leg side after it has pitched it becomes 
more deadly, as then there is a much greater chance of the 
batsman being unable to get over the ball sufficiently to keep 
it along the ground. 

1 32 CRICKET. 

There has grown up in late years a most deplorable practice 
amongst batsmen of leaving balls on the off side alone, for fear 
of risking their wickets. In every match, big and little, one 
may see batsmen jump in front of their wickets time after time 
to off balls, allowing the ball to go by unplayed at, or if it 
twists to hit their legs. We call this a most deplorable prac- 
tice, because it is not real cricket. The true object of the bats- 
man is to defend his wicket with his bat ; let him use his legs as 
well if he likes, but his bat he should certainly use, and when 
he holds the bat high in the air and guards his wicket with his 
legs, and legs alone, in our opinion he goes beyond the limit of 
legitimate batting. A batsman is perfectly right in refusing to 
■hit or play at wide balls on the off side, but when he remains 
passive to balls a few inches only outside the off stump, he not 
only acknowledges his want of confidence in himself, but also 
•degrades the dignity of a cricket bat by substituting in its place 
his own usually nervous legs. We remember seeing, some 
years back, a batsman who had completed his hundred refusing, 
on a perfectly good wicket, to play ball after ball on the off side. 
The famous old bowler David Buchanan was bowling at one 
end, and could not understand how some of his most lovely 
half-volleys were allowed to pass by unlooked at and despised. 
The batsman, however, was thoroughly well roasted by his own 
side and the other for his tame play ; and it was satisfactory 
afterwards to learn that he had given up his weakness for see- 
ing long-hops and half-volleys pass on the off without being first 
heavily taxed for the good of his side. It is rather a difficult 
thing for a slow bowler to know what to do when he has to bowl 
to a batsman of this sort. He might, of course, go on bowling 
on the off side, and try to tire the batsman out and make, him 
play; but this, in these present days of good wickets and lengthy 
matches, would take far too long. The best course for a bowler 
to take is continually to alter his pace, and endeavour by 
pitching a ball sharper from the pitch and quicker than usual on 
the off stump to get the batsman out leg before wicket. Just 
the very slightest degree outside the off stump is also a good 



place for this class of player ; he gets undecided whether to 
adopt his mawkish style of play or not, and in his indecision is 
apt to make mistakes. 

A favourite scheme for a slow bowler to get rid of a bats- 
man is by bowling him off his legs. This is always more easy 
of accomplishment when the batsman's legs stand some dis- 
tance from the leg-stump and his bat. When this is going to 
be tried an extra man should be put out on the on side between 
long-leg and deep field-on, as the ball which is to be bowled 
will, if hit by the batsman, generally go in that direction. It 
the bowler can dispense with a long-leg, it is advantageous to 
have a short-leg, perhaps a yard or two in front of the umpire, 
and also a mid-wicket on as near to the batsman as he can 
with safety venture. The ball should then be bowled with as 
much off break and as good a length as possible, in a line with 
the leg-stump ; if played at and missed on account of the twist 
it hits the legs, and so cannons into the wicket. If it is met with 
the bat there is always a chance of the twist taking it into the 
hands of short-leg or mid-on. The place on which the ball 
pitches must depend on the state of the ground and the amount 
of twist that can be put on to the ball. 

Spofforth, the Australian, was a bowler who used this ball 
very successfully, as indeed he did most others. When he had 
the ground in a suitable state — i.e. when it was sticky or else 
crumbled and loose— he used to place a short-leg close in to the 
batsman about two yards behind the wicket ; he would also 
have another short-leg or mid-on close in to the batsman and 
fairly straight. He would then bowl about medium pace, 
pitching ball after ball a good length on the leg-stump, and 
with as much off break as he could get on, which, of course, 
would vary with the state of the ground. The result of this 
manoeuvre was to make the batsman's chance of remaining at 
the wickets for long extremely doubtful. The pace (medium) 
would compel him to play forward to all good-length balls ; 
the break- back and abrupt rise or kick then made it very 
probable that he would either place the ball in the hands of 



one of the expectant short-legs or else be bowled off his bat or 
legs. The author recollects on one occasion having to play 
against the redoubtable Spofforth under the above circum- 
stances. After receiving a few balls he came to the conclusion 
that it was absolutely impossible to prevent being captured by 
•one of the short-legs, who were both standing ridiculously close, 
and every ball was rising uncomfortably high. He determined 
to take the liberty of pulling, and did so once or twice with 
success, till he paid the usual penalty of the practice on a kick- 
ing wicket by being badly cut over. He then tried jumping 
in front of his wicket and trying to slide the breaking balls off 
his bat to very fine long-leg. Spofforth, however, was too 
much for him, and almost immediately bowled a straight 
middle stump ball without any break on it and rather faster 
than the others ; it kept low, hit the shin, and there was as 
dead a case of ' l.b.w.' as any bowler could wish for. 

A favourite trick of some slow bowlers is to bowl from 
different distances. Sometimes the bowler will have one leg 
behind the wickets and the other in front, and sometimes both 
behind ; we have even seen some bowl occasionally with the 
front leg as much as two yards behind the wicket. The object 
of this is to deceive the batsman as to the pitch of the ball by 
changing the distance the ball has to travel. This is doubtless 
an excellent theory, but in our opinion it is not of much 
worth in actual practice. We have seen bowlers of all sorts re- 
peatedly try this experiment, but in our experience it never 
meets with any appreciable success. This is perhaps owing 
to the fact that the batsman can always see very clearly when 
the bowler does not come up the whole way to the wicket, 
and is accordingly on the alert for a shorter pitched ball than 
usual. The only practiser of this trick who ever seems to turn 
it to good account is Tom Emmett, the left-handed York- 
shire veteran j he usually bowls his slow wides from some dis- 
tance behind the crease, and certainly obtains a fair share of 
wickets with these balls ; but even in his case we think that 
it is generally not so much the difference in the distance that 


the ball has to travel which causes disaster to the batsman, as 
the latter's anxiety and impatience to score from slow wide off 
balls, which look so easy and are really so deadly. However, 
though our opinion of this bowler's ' dodge ' is not particularly 
high, we still think it is worthy of trial at times by every slow 
bowler. A slow bowler should try every wile that can pos- 
sibly be attempted ; by adopting slow bowling he has under- 
taken to use the * wisdom of the serpent ' in the guise of the 
1 harmlessness of the dove,' and has sacrificed pace to cunning 
and thought. No slow bowler is worth his salt who merely tosses 
the ball into the air and trusts to chance for success, even if it 
has a little spin on it ; he must continually think and diagnose 
every particular case which comes before him, and then adopt the 
measures necessary for each one. With this object it is the duty 
of every slow bowler to take advantage of any local peculiarity 
which the size and situation of the ground may afford. He 
should almost always have the choice of ends, except on oc- 
casions when the captain of the side considers that for some 
reason his fast bowler is more likely to get rid of the batting side 
for a small score than the slow, and then, of course, the fast 
must have the choice. 

For example, in the University matches from 1878 to 1881, 
Oxford was so overmatched by Cambridge that in each of 
these years before the play began it was considered by the 
outside public as a foregone conclusion for the latter. The 
really knowing ones, however, who thoroughly understood the 
game, were aware that there was one man on the Oxford side 
who might any day get rid of the best side in England for a 
very small score. That man was Mr. Evans, the famous fast 
bowler. He was the only man on the side who, humanly 
speaking, seemed capable of turning the chances of the game. 
He consequently chose his own particular end — the one he 
thought most suited to his style, quite irrespective of any 
mediocre slow bowler that was on his side ; and the havoc he 
played amongst the Cambridge wickets for those four years 
may be seen from the old scores. It is, however, an exception 


when a side depends almost entirely on its fast bowling, and it 
is only when this exception arises that a slow bowler (assuming 
him to be one who is competent to judge) must not have his 
choice of ends. Of course we mean his choice of ends at the 
commencement of an innings, as after that it is the captain's 
duty to put any bowler on at either end, and it is the duty of 
every bowler to obey his captain cheerfully. 

As already remarked, every slow bowler should take 
advantage of every local peculiarity that may offer itself. 
For instance, there may be a ground where a high tree is behind 
one of the wickets ; the slow bowler, if he thinks this tree 
will help him at all, should take his measures acordingly. We 
hope none will think we are advocating anything at all unfair 
in the game, or anything that is even on the line between fair- 
ness and ■ not quite straight.' As a rifle-shooter takes advantage 
of a lull in the wind to pull his trigger, as a deerstalker of every 
rock and unevenness of ground to approach his game — in short, 
just as in every kind of sport natural facilities may be utilised 
— so in bowling every peculiarity of time and place should be 
enlisted on the side of the bowler in his (in these days of good 
wickets and good batting) by no means easy task of getting rid 
of the batsman. If a bowler, who, we will say, usually bowls 
over the wicket, perceive that by bowling round the wicket he 
may make his bowling more difficult to see, and consequently 
more effective, on account of a tree, house, or hedge that is 
directly behind that side of the wicket, he should most cer- 
tainly change and make the most of that advantage. An in- 
judicious and talkative batsman often materially assists a bowler 
by such remarks as, ' I can't see your bowling a little bit. When 
tossed high in the air that beastly tree is right behind ; ' or, 
1 When you bowl over the wicket the ball gets right in a line 
with the dark windows of the pavilion, and I can't see it at all.' 
Can anyone imagine for a moment that a bowler will not do his 
very best instantly to make the most of the dark branches of 
the tree or the windows of the pavilion ? The sun, too, often 
materially assists a slow bowler, especially during the last hour 


or hour and a half of the day's play. If there are any trees 
round the ground, the shadows, beginning to lengthen, will often 
lie right across the pitch, and if there is one anywhere near 
where a good-length ball should pitch, it is advisable to try 
pitching one occasionally on it. If the sun is behind the 
bowler's wicket and getting a little low, the bowler should try 
by bowling high slow ones to get it in the line of the batsman's 
vision. Every possible advantage within the limits and spirit 
of fair play may be considered legitimate for a bowler. Local 
advantages of ground and weather are certainly within these 
limits, but any peculiarity of dress or tricks of manner, which 
are in themselves calculated to baulk or annoy a batsman, are 

For example, bowling with a long loose and flapping sleeve 
in order to distract the batsman's attention from the ball, a 
habit which of late has been seen on our English grounds, is 
in itself intrinsically unfair and unworthy of any true cricketer. 
And again, waving the arms behind the ball after it has been 
delivered, or any other trick adopted in order to worry or harass 
the batsman, is manifestly unfair. Some batsmen are extremely 
fastidious, and are distracted by the merest trifle. The writer 
remembers on one occasion taking part in a match when a 
batsman objected to a bowler on the ground that he was 
wearing a stud made of some bright material or stone, which 
glistened so in the sun that it diverted his attention from the 
ball. This, of course, sounded absurd, but the bowler at once 
removed the glittering nuisance, and rightly too. 

A slow bowler must bear in mind what has before been 
mentioned, viz. that it is often almost as good as a change of 
bowling to change from over, to round the wicket, or vice versa, 
quite apart from the advantage he may gain from any local ob- 
struction to good light. Supposing a slow bowler has been ' on ' 
for some time over the wicket, as a rule the great majority of his 
balls have been pitched a few inches outside the off stump and 
breaking in to the middle or middle and leg. The batsman 
bas got thoroughly into the way of playing this particular ball, 


and does not show any signs of making a mistake. The bowler 
goes round the wicket, and although he still continues to pitch 
a little outside the off stump, the ball is quite different now from 
what it was from over the wicket. It is, of course, impossible 
to get as much ' break -back ' spin on to the ball when bowling 
round as over the wicket, because the ball is delivered several 
feet from a straight line between the two wickets, but in most 
conditions of the ground it is possible to get a certain amount 
on. The change in the direction of the ball, or rather in the 
spot from which it is delivered, combined with the diminution 
in the amount of break, makes it often a most effective change 
and one well worth the trial. In addition there is always from 
round the wicket the chance of a batsman playing inside a ball 
which, delivered without any spin at all, keeps going across the 
wicket, as it is technically called, * with the arm.' 

We cannot omit, when enumerating the different balls of 
which a slow bowler may avail himself, one which is by no means 
used as often as it should be, viz. the full-pitch. In slow bowl- 
ing there are three different kinds of full-pitches — the high- 
dropping full-pitch, which will pitch either on the top of the 
wicket or a few inches before it; the ordinary slow full-pitch, 
which reaches the batsman about the height of his knees ; and 
the medium-paced full-pitch, which will hit the stumps nearly 
at the top. The high-dropping full-pitch is a ball that is 
seldom used, the reason for its rarity probably being the ex- 
treme difficulty of bowling it accurately and the certain punish- 
ment it will meet with if it falls at all short either in height 
or length of what it should be. It should be delivered as high 
as possible ; there is no limit to the height this ball may go 
in the air, as the higher it ascends the more difficult it is to 
play. It should be bowled so that it reaches its highest point 
when it is almost directly over the head of the batsman, and 
should pitch on the very top of the stumps. It is strange 
that this ball is not more often practised by slow bowlers, as, 
especially to the pokey, nervous style of batsmen, it is fraught 
with considerable uneasiness and requires some skill to play 



properly. To really first-class punishing batsmen it is a ball 
which has comparatively no terrors, and on which not much 
reliance can be placed, though it should always, in our opinion, 
be tried at least once to every batsman who is getting ' well 
set.' But to the poker, the man who refuses to do anything 

A pokey batsman dealing with a high-dropping full-pitch. 

but stick his bat in front of the wicket, who lets half-volleys, 
full-pitches, and long-hops pass unscathed and unplayed on both 
sides of him — to him who considers he is doing his side good 
service by wasting three hours of valuable time "for a dozen 
runs on his side of the balance, and three hours' wear and tear 
of the wicket on the other — to him who helps so greatly to 


fill up the records of drawn matches, the high-dropping full- 
pitch is an excellent ball. He does not know what to do 
with it ; he is afraid to step back to play it for fear of hitting 
his wicket, and he hardly likes to be so bold as to try to cut 
or hit it on the on side. One of the most amusing sights we 
have ever seen at cricket was one of these batsmen having 
ball after ball of this sort bowled to him ; it was not till after 
he had nearly lost his wicket a dozen times, only keeping it by 
exceptional good luck, and had afforded the greatest merriment 
to players and spectators alike, that he burst out from sheer 
desperation into wild and furious hitting— a line of conduct 
which had the immediate effect of compelling the bowler to 
desist from his lofty attacks. 

The second kind of full-pitch — the one reaching the bats- 
man about the height of his knees— is the most usual of full- 
pitches, and enjoys the distinction of being considered the 
easiest of all balls to hit. A good batsman can hit this ball 
from a slow bowler to almost any part of the field ; conse- 
quently, though it often happens in the chapter of accidents 
that a wicket falls to this ball — a catch in the country per- 
haps, or a hard catch and bowl — it is of all balls the very worst 
for a slow bowler to deliver, except perhaps a long hop. 

The third kind— the medium-paced full-pitch straight to 
the top of the stumps — is occasionally, for a slow bowler, a 
very useful ball. In the first place, it is not quite so easy to 
hit as it appears to the batsman ; the change in pace from slow 
to medium often causes him to hit a trifle slower than he 
should do, when the ball, coming on faster than expected, hit* 
the top or splice of the bat, and goes straight up in the air. 
This ball is generally more successful with players who have 
a partiality for on-side hitting than with others, as it is never 
a difficult one to play quietly ; it is only when the batsman 
tries to hit that it becomes likely to get a wicket. It is also 
useful when a hitter, by running out and hitting every ball, 
is demoralising bowler, fielders, and the whole side. If the 
bowler sees the intention of the hitter to run out before the ball 


is delivered — and he is often able to do this — he can do nothing 
better than bowl a good medium-paced full-pitch straight at 
the top of the middle stump j if the batsman goes on with his 
intention of running out, he is not only apt to overrun this 
faster than usual ball, and let it pass over the top of his bat, 
but if he does hit it he is likely to send it high in the air, from 
the above-mentioned cause of catching it with the top or splice 
of the bat. There is, however, nothing so flurrying to abowlei 
as a batsman who runs out to every ball, and who evinces 
his intention of doing so before the ball is delivered. The 
writer has often talked with old cricketers on this subject, and 
they have remarked how well the old bowlers of their early 
days used to keep their heads under these trying circumstances. 
Doubtless they deserve the very greatest credit for doing so, 
for there is nothing so trying to a bowler ; it spoils his pitch, 
and is rather apt to do the same to his temper. The regular 
attendant at matches may have seen almost every bowler of 
reputation in England so thoroughly flurried and upset by a 
batsman doing this, that, in spite of all efforts to keep cool, the 
bowling was simply paralysed and rendered useless to the side 
for the time being. The best courses for a slow bowler to pur- 
sue on these occasions is, 1st, to bowl the sort of full-pitch just 
discussed ; and, 2nd, to increase his pace a little, and bowl a little 
short of a good length, about a foot or more outside the legs 
of the batsman. There is nothing a rushing-out batsman finds 
so hard to hit as a ball well outside his legs. 

Widish off balls are also useful, as a batsman going down 
the wicket is not only apt to miss, but also, if he can reach, 
to sky them. A high full-pitch into the hands of the wicket- 
keeper is likewise sometimes successful ; but, though we may lay 
down certain rules and suggestions as to what is best for a 
bowler to do at this very trying time, we are afraid that, unless 
he is able to keep exceptionally cool, they will be of no prac- 
tical assistance. 

The variableness ot the English climate plays a very im- 
portant part in the success or otherwise of slow bowlers. A 

i 4 2 CRICKET. 

shower of rain in the night often has the effect of making parti- 
cularly deadly a slow bowler who, the day before, on a hard 
and fast ground, was comparatively harmless and ineffective. 
Up to 1884 the disadvantage of a rainfall in the night to a 
side that had begun but not finished its innings was increased 
by the rule forbidding the ground to be rolled except before 
the commencement of each innings. Rain in the night not 
only softens the ground, but brings up to the surface numbers 
of worms, which cover the pitch with little heaps of earth 
mould. These little heaps, in the absence of any rolling, 
made the ground bumpy and treacherous, and consequently 
entailed serious discomfiture to the batting side. The only 
plausible argument ever advanced for this injustice was that it 
might happen to either side, and was one of the chances of the 
game. However, the M.C.C. wisely decided, though not till 
quite recently, that this rule should be abolished, the reason 
for the decision being that the side which won the toss had a 
great advantage as it was, from having the first and best of the 
wicket, and that, as the other side was usually batting at the 
end of the day, it gave the men an extra and unfair disadvan- 
tage in having the wicket spoilt by rain and worms without the 
chance of having it rolled. No rule, however, can affect the 
drawback under which a batting side is placed whose wicket 
is softened by a heavy rainfall in the night. The roller may level 
the worm moulds, but it cannot alter the slow, sticky state of 
the ground ; in fact, it often brings up more water, and makes 
the pitch still more sticky and slow. It is on occasions such 
as these that slow bowlers meet with their greatest success. So 
frequently during the course of the season do these soft wickets 
occur, even in what are called our hot summers, that it is part 
of the science of bowling to know how to turn such grounds 
to the best advantage. The different states of the ground 
caused by the weather may be roughly, and for all practical 
purposes, divided into five : 1st, the hard and dry state ; 2nd, 
the hard state, with the grass wet ; 3rd, the very soft and slow 
state, (a) with the grass dry, (b) with the grass wet ; 4th, the 


drying state, when it has been very slow and soft, but is gradu- 
ally drying under the influence of a hot sun or wind ; 5th, the 
hard and crumbled state. The hard and dry state calls for no 
comment, as everything written on the subject of bowling, un- 
less otherwise specified, refers to the ground in this condition. 
The hard state, with the grass wet, is perhaps the most trying 
time for a slow bowler. He has to bowl with a wet ball, which 
he has great difficulty in holding ; he cannot get on the slightest 
degree of twist, as the wet ball slips off the wet grass directly 
it pitches, allowing no time for the ball to ■ bite ' the ground 
and take the twist. A good batsman on these wickets knows 
that all he has to do is to play forward with a straight bat 
when the ball is anything like a good one, and he is bound to 
meet it. The slippery ball flies off the bat like lightning, and 
travels, if the grass is short and not too thick, over the hard 
ground faster than it does when the grass is dry. Every now 
and then a ball may be inclined to keep low or shoot ; but a 
shooter does not possess the same terrors on a wet as on a dry 
ground, because in almost every instance it can be played 
forward to, and a good batsman in playing forward always 
keeps his bat low enough to stop shooters (especially on wet 
wickets) until he actually sees the ball rise. 

The only course for a slow bowler to adopt on these wickets 
is to bowl as good a length as he can, and as straight as 
possible. He should also bear in mind that the ball leaves the 
ground far more quickly than usual in its wet, slippery state, 
and that, consequently, the most likely place in the field to 
capture a batsman is short-slip. Easy as the ground is for a 
batsman when once he gets the pace of it, it often happens 
that at first he is surprised at the great pace from the pitch, 
plays back instead of forward, and places the ball in the slips. 
It is a golden rule for every bowler, slow and fast, on these 
wickets to have short-slip ' finer ' than on ordinary occasions, 
and a trifle further back. It is often advisable to have an 
extra man standing about three yards squarer than the regular 
short-slip, but no farther from the wicket. Two quick active 


men, who are capable at times of bringing off smart one-hand 
catches, should be chosen for these places. They are by far 
the most likely men in the field to dismiss good batsmen on 
wet hard wickets ; in fact, it is often difficult to see how two 
such batsmen are to be separated on these occasions except 
by a catch at one of these places, or at the wicket. A bowler 
should with this object keep bowling a good length on the 
off stump and just outside it, recollecting that good-length balls 
must pitch considerably shorter than usual on these very quick 

The very soft and slow state is the result of heavy rain 
which has left the surface of the pitch dry, but the ground itself 
thoroughly sodden. This condition of the ground is popularly 
supposed to favour a slow bowler. How often, on coming on 
to the ground to inspect the wicket after a night's rain, is he 
accosted something in this style : ' Well, Jack, this ought to 
suit you ; those twisters of yours will want some watching to- 
day ! ' Jack, after looking at the pitch, which is as soft and 
sodden as a piece of dough, knows full well that it will be a 
long time before the ground gets back enough of its half- 
drowned life to help him in the slightest degree. There is no 
poorer fun for a slow bowler than having to bowl on these 
utterly lifeless wickets. On a hard true ground, though it may 
be favourable to the batsman, he has good sport in trying every 
dodge he can think of ; he fishes and feeds and angles as warily 
as Izaak Walton himself ; the ground and ball are full of life 
and go, and very often, unfortunately for the bowler, the bats- 
man too. On wet hard wickets, when he can get no twist on, 
there is still life and pace in the ground ; but in the sodden 
dead state, directly the ball touches the ground it sinks in, 
loses all life and pace, and comes on to the batsman like what 
a Yorkshire professional was once heard to call a 'diseased 
lawn-tennis, ball.' There is no greater fallacy at cricket than 
to suppose that a sodden wicket is an advantage to a slow 
bowler. The time when it begins to assist him is when the 
surface is ' caking ' under the influence of the sun or a drying 
wind ; and then it is that, as we said above, the greatest sue- 


cesses of slow bowlers are met with. A slow bowler having to 
bowl on a sodden wicket perceives at once that it is extremely 
difficult for him to bowl to a good batsman a * good-length ' 
ball for the following reasons : — 

What is called a ' good-length ' ball on ordinary occasions 
remains on the ground so long and comes off the pitch so slow 
that a batsman, if \\e is so minded, can with ease play it back 
— i.e. he can see it coming on from the pitch in time for him 
to get back and play it as a simple ' long-hop.' Anything short 
of this will all the more be capable of being played as a ' long- 
hop.' If the ball is pitched farther than a good length, it 
becomes at once — certainly to batsmen quick on their legs — 
a half-volley. Thus, if a batsman really gets the time of the 
ground, he has only to play these two simplest of balls. No 
amount of spin will help the bowler ; the ball in the soft ground 
may twist at right angles, but it does it so slowly that the bats- 
man has ample time to defend his wicket. In these circum- 
stances there is only one thing for a slow bowler to do, and 
that is to bowl faster and endeavour, by giving extra pace to 
the ball, to make it come off the ground quicker. There are 
some batsmen whom, on these sodden wickets, it is almost im- 
possible to get rid of. They remain for hours, perfectly con- 
tented if a whole day is taken up with their innings and forty 
runs added to the total, the chances of a draw being thereby 
greatly augmented. A famous professional stick, on one occa- 
sion, remained at the wickets when the ground was sodden for 
one hour and fifty minutes before troubling the scorer ; he was 
then so flustered by the jeering of the mob that he rushed out, 
hit a catch, was missed, and, amidst as much cheering as if he 
had wanted one run to complete his hundred, broke his duck's- 
egg. Louis Hall, of Yorkshire, was a desperate man to bowl 
to on these grounds ; every ball that was bowled he either played 
back or smothered. Nothing in cricket could be more dull 
or dismal than bowling to this batsman on a sodden wicket at 
Bramall Lane Ground in a real Sheffield fog. A Bannerman, 
the Australian batsman, is another terrible hard nut for a bowler 
to crack on these sodden wickets. 


Although, as has been said, slow bowlers are not assisted by 
the ground when in this condition, and it is extremely difficult 
to bowl anything approaching a good ball to a good batsman, 
there are some batsmen, and real good ones too on a hard true 
ground, who are utterly unable to adapt their style of play to a 
slow ground, or rather never can realise that a ball pitched into 
a lump of dough will leave it much slower than when pitched 
on to a stone. These batsmen, if they kept their keenness of 
eye and activity till they were a hundred, would still be seen 
playing a quick forward stroke on the sodden ground, sending 
the ball up in the air in every direction. A batsman who per- 
sists in playing forward on a dead wicket and finishing his 
stroke as he would do on a fast wicket is certain not to last 
long. It is very curious to notice how sometimes nearly a 
whole batting side will make a mistake about the condition of 
the wicket. The first batsmen see the ground slow and the 
ball twisting a good deal, and begin playing as they would do 
on a faster wicket, viz. playing forward to the pitch instead of 
waiting and playing a back game. Four or five batsmen will 
follow, play in the same style, and lose their wickets, generally 
bowled, or caught and bowled. Some batsman will then come 
in who at once finds out what the slow bowlers have long since 
known — that it is a slow easy wicket he has to bat on, and 
not a ' caked/ ■ kicky ' one. What happens ? He plays every 
ball back except those that he hits, and he hits everything 
except a long-hop, because he can get to the pitch of anything 
else. The slow bowlers who have been doing the mischief are 
soon knocked off, and his side, in spite of the failure of its four 
or five most competent batsmen, makes a good score. On one 
occasion in a first-class match the first seven wickets fell for 
fifty runs, the wicket being deadly slow and dull ; the eighth 
man came in, and, by dint of playing back and hitting and a 
little luck, made over a hundred in about an hour and a half, 
being fortunate enough to have some one to stick in with him 
at the other end. 

When the ground is very soft and the grass wet, the bowler 


is in about the same position as when the grass is wet on a 
hard wicket ; he has to bowl with a wet slippery ball, and can- 
not get any twist at all upon it. This is called the ■ cutting 
through ' state, which means that, the ball being slippery and 
the ground and grass wet, it cuts through the surface of the 
pitch, taking with it a small piece of wet sticky turf. As in 
the hard state with wet grass, short-slip is an important place 
and likely to get chances. Although the ground when in this 
condition is in favour of the batsman, cricket is miserable under 
such circumstances, and is enjoyed neither by batsman, bowler, 
nor fielders. The batsman cannot stand on the slippery mud ; 
the bowler, with wet dirty hands, and boots and trousers 
bespattered with slush, is utterly unable to do anything with 
the slimy ball ; and the fieldsmen can neither hold nor stop it. 
The ground is covered with sawdust, without the use of which 
it would be impossible for the bowler to grasp the ball firmly, 
and altogether the whole scene is so unlike cricket, essentially 
a fine-weather game, that it always seems a pity under such 
conditions to go on playing. 

The drying state, when the ground has been very soft and 
sodden, but is gradually drying and caking on the surface under 
the influence of a hot sun or wind, is the time when slow bowlers 
have it all their own way. It is on this condition of ground 
that in former days bowlers like Alfred Shaw, and Peate, of 
Yorkshire, and in present times Tyler, Briggs, and Wainwright, 
have so often astonished the cricket community with wondeful 
analyses. When the ground has got into this state, it will often 
remain so for several hours. At Lord's, when the ground after 
being soft has become caked on the top, it is no unusual occur- 
rence to see thirty good wickets or more fall in the course of 
the day. When a side, no matter how many really good bats- 
men it may number, has to go in on ' caked * wickets against 
good bowling, they may think themselves lucky if they get 100 
runs. The ball takes almost as much twist as a bowler wants 
to put on ; it comes off the ground at different paces, one part 
of the pitch being a trifle drier and harder than another. The 
first ball of the over will perhaps get up almost straight and 

l 2 

i 4 8 CRICKET. 

very quickly from the pitch as a batsman is playing it ; the 
next pitches a trifle shorter, may stop in the ground, and ' get 
up and look at you,' as it is called, making correct play an im- 
possibility. Or perhaps one ball will get up very quickly and 
high, and hit the batsman on the arm or side, and the next r 
pitched in almost the same spot, will leave the pitch equally 
quickly, but never rise more than an inch from the ground. 
It is no recommendation to a bowler to be able to get wickets 
on such grounds as these ; any bad bowler might bowl a good 
batting side out for a small score with such assistance. The 
only way a batsman can reasonably hope to add any notches 
to the score of his side is to grasp the situation at once, throw 
careful correct play to the winds, and hit, pull, and slog in 
every direction where he thinks he can get rid of the teasing 
ball. The Australian eleven of 1882 were particularly good 
on this class of wicket ; they had four men — Giffen, Bonnor, 
McDonnell, Massie — who, rarely needing much inducement to 
hit, used to launch out most vigorously and successfully on 
these occasions, often cracking up twenty or thirty runs in about 
half the number of minutes, and securing victory for their side. 
Although very badly caked wickets are not uncommon, 
perhaps the best for bowling and the worst for batting in 
modern experience was at the Oval during the last innings 
of the England v. Australia match, in 1882. It is the only 
disastrous match for England in the whole list of national 
fixtures that have been played in this country. It may be 
remembered that England, having only a few runs to get to win, 
nearly made them for the first two wickets, Grace and Ulyett 
both making about twenty. The ground at this time was dry- 
ing and becoming every minute more difficult, and the way in 
which our English wickets were mowed down by Spofforth is 
now a matter of cricket history, too well known to repeat. 
Spofforth was bowling rather more than medium pace, bringing 
the ball back a foot or more very quickly from the pitch, 
sometimes kicking to the height of the batsman's head, and at 
others shooting. Some of our cricket reporters talked in an 
airy manner about the ' funk ' of the English team on that 


occasion, but the charge was wholly without foundation. A 
batsman's consciousness that twenty thousand spectators were 
watching each ball with breathless interest, and that on his 
own individual efforts depended the reputation of English 
•cricket, that the bowling was about as good and the ground 
as bad as any cricketer had ever seen, might, and probably 
did, cause a feeling of intense anxiety in the minds of each 
of the English players who failed in his efforts to win victory 
for his side ; but to say that their efforts were paralysed, or 
that any one of them was unnerved by what is popularly called 
' funk,' is certainly unjust to the well-tried cricketers who did 
battle for England on that memorable and disastrous occasion. 

The hard and crumbled wicket is perhaps almost more 
difficult for batsmen than when it is caked. The ball will 
twist a great deal on this class of wicket, and does it very 
quickly. It is also inclined both to ' pop ' and keep» low. 
Spofforth and Turner of the Australian bowlers, and Peel, 
Briggs, and Attewell of the English ones, are all most deadly 
bowlers on such a wicket as this. 

Some of our most successful slow bowlers have been left- 
handed. The peculiarity and difficulty about left-hand bowling 
is that the natural spin imparted to the ball by a left-handed 
bowler is the off-spin, which, of course, makes the ball after the 
pitch twist from the leg side of the right-handed batsman to the 
off. This, as we have mentioned above, is the most difficult twist 
for a batsman to play, as an off break is more easy to watch after 
the pitch than a leg-break. The leg-break which a batsman 
has to meet from a right-handed bowler is not so difficult to play 
as that from a left-hander ; because, first, the latter is usually 
faster than the former, and, secondly, it is much more disguised. 
The right-hand leg-break is impossible without getting the ball 
in the centre of the hand and screwing the hand round just 
as if it were twisting a corkscrew the reverse way — an action 
which at once prepares the batsman for the leg twist. Thirdly, 
because it usually twists very much less than the right-hand leg- 
break. It is not the ball which twists the most that gets the 
wickets ; it is the ball that just twists enough to beat the bat. 


The mode of attack generally adopted by a slow left hander 
is to place all his men, with the exception of a short-leg and a 
deep mid-on, on the off side. He then proceeds to bowl on 
the off stump and outside it, making the ball go away from the 
batsman to the off as much as possible after the pitch. Great 
care has to be taken by the batsman, as the slighest mistake 
in hitting or forward play will give a catch to one of the nume- 
rous traps laid all round on the off side. It is the object of 
the bowler to get the batsman either to hit at a ball which is 
not quite far enough to be smothered, or to reach out and play 
forward at one which is a little beyond his reach. A favourite 
device of the left-handed bowler is to get the batsman to hit at 
widish ones on the off side, a stroke that must cause an uppish 
hit somewhere, as it is impossible for a batsman to smother a ball 
that is a trifle out of his reach. It is often a good thing for a left- 
handed bowler to send down a ball without any twist on it at all, 
especially if he is bowling on a wicket where he is able to ' do ' 
a good deal. The ball without any spin on it should pitch on 
the middle and off stumps ; and if the bowler is bowling from 
round the wicket, as left-handers usually do, it will then come 
on in a line with the pitch and the hand at the moment of 
delivery, and if not stopped by the bat, take the leg-stump. 
This slow ball that comes with the arm in the middle of others 
going the other way is very successful. Slow left-handed bowlers 
often have their tempers sorely tried by a class of batsmen that 
were discussed in a previous portion of this chapter, namely, 
those who are so frightened of getting out that they will never 
play at an off ball, long-hop, half-volley, or good-length. 
There are many enticing balls bowled by left-handed bowlers 
that ought to be left alone by every batsman, notably those 
that pitch too wide to enable them to be played forward and 
smothered. There is no greater or more successful trap for 
tfiid young players than these widish off balls. But it is in- 
deed a trying time for the bowler when he keeps pitching just 
outside trie off stump, and is not even played at by the bats- 
man. Bowlers should, in these circumstances, bowl ball after 
ball on the off stump and just outside it. It is by no means an 



uncommon occurrence to see these punishing batsmen taken 
in by a ball that comes in a little with the arm, and removes 
the bail while they are striking an attitude, bat over shoulder. 

We have had some excellent left-handed bowlers in England, 
and there can be no doubt that every team should possess one 
of this sort if possible. Peate for some years enjoyed the repu- 
tation of being the best left-hander in England, and rightly so. 
He was an exceptional good length, difficult to see, and had a 
lot of work on. Some of his performances against the Austra- 
lians are truly wonderful. When Peate first began to play 
cricket he was a very fast, high-actioned bowler, and the writer 
remembers finding him on the slow sticky wicket of the Car- 
lisle ground very nasty to play. He subsequently altered his 
pace to slow, and it is a remarkable fact that after this altera- 
tion he completely lost the power of sending down a really fast 
ball. Another of our great slow left-handed bowlers was David 
Buchanan, and, strangely enough, he too was in his early days a 
fast bowler. As one of the slow school he is best known, and 
we have no doubt that he at the present moment has taken 
nearly twice as many wickets in the course of his career as any 
other living cricketer. His bowling was celebrated for the great 
amount of work he got on to the ball ; unless the batsman was 
on the pitch of it, a mistake was certain. The only team that 
ever seemed to enjoy Buchanan's bowling was the Rugby boys, 
and constant practice had robbed it of all terrors for them. 

It is a doubtful point amongst cricketers whether Peel of 
Yorkshire or Briggs of Lancashire was the best left-handed 
slow to medium bowler. In the writer's opinion Peel was the 
best. He bowled perhaps a slightly better length than Briggs, 
and as he had a more difficult action to see, was not so 
easily hit by a resolute batsman as. Briggs. They were both, 
however, excellent bowlers, but both are now a little past their 
prime. Briggs possesses a marvellous strength of wrist and 
fingers, which give him great power of twist and pace. His 
very fast ball is nearly as good as that of Palmer, the Australian. 
One of his best performances was in England v. Australia at 
Lord's in 1886. None of the English bowlers on this occasion 


could do much with the ball except Briggs. There is one 
Australian left-handed bowler who we regret has never been 
seen on English cricket grounds — Tom Kendall. In 1878, 
when the first colonial team visited this country, great ac- 
counts of Kendall's prowess with the ball had reached us. His 
name was included in the list of the players whom we were 
led to expect, but for some reason or other, though he did 
actually start with the team, he left it at Adelaide or at some 
other port at which the ship touched. The writer saw him 
and played against him in 1882 in Tasmania, and, though 
getting on in years and rather on the big side for bowling, he 
was about as nasty a left-hander as any batsman could wish to 
play. He had a high action, changed his pace well, from slow to 
medium, and then to very fast, had lots of work both ways on 
his slow and medium balls, and the very fast ones went with 
the arm. When the writer saw him his length was not as 
good as it might have been, or, from all accounts, as it once 
was. His action reminded us rather of that excellent bowler 
J. C. Shaw, in his day the best left-hander in England. 

In the first Australian team that visited this country, in 1878, 
there was another left-handed slow bowler named Allan, about 
whom the Australians themselves spread most extraordinary 
statements. It was said that Allan, 'the bowler of the cen- 
tury,' as he was called in Australia, possessed some of the most 
remarkable qualities. Rumour declared his spin off the ground 
was so great that the slowest ball came off up to the bat at ten 
times greater speed than it had travelled to the pitch ; that he 
could twist either way, to almost any degree, at will, and that 
his bowling had a most remarkable curve in the air, which ren- 
dered it most deadly. This left-handed bowler is mentioned be- 
cause, though his powers of bowling had, of course, been greatly 
exaggerated, it was certainly most puzzling. He met with some 
considerable success at the outset of the tour ; but subsequently 
his health gave way before the wearing work of cricket every 
day, and he was unable to bowl at all. His bowling had a 
considerable amount of spin, but what was the most extra- 
ordinary thing connected with it was the inward curl in the air 


towards the body of the batsman, and then, after the pitch, the 
outward twist of the ball. A ball that goes one way in the air, 
and another after the pitch, is calculated to try the mettle of the 
best batsman. It is a subject for regret that Allan, through in- 
creasing years and his consequent inability to stand hard work, 
has not accompanied any of the later teams, as his bowling 
was so very different from anything we have ever seen at home. 

Does bowling curl or twist in the air ? is a question we have 
often been asked, and we have frequently heard disputes, by 
men who possessed some considerable knowledge of the game, 
as to whether it was possible for balls to travel thus or not. It 
seems almost incredible that men who have over and over again 
handled the bat should doubt the tendency of some kinds of 
bowling to twist or curl in the air. Nearly all leg-break slow 
bowlers curl inwards towards the batsman before the pitch, 
and no one who has ever played against W. G. Grace's bqwling 
can doubt that the real secret of his success as a bowler has 
been in the peculiar flight his action gives the ball, causing it 
to curl before it pitches. 

However, the question as to balls turning in the air has 
been definitely settled by the American base-ball players. In 
this game the pitcher throws one full-pitch after another to the 
batsman, and even if the latter happen to be one of the best 
and most experienced in the game he misses a considerable 
proportion of these full-pitches. And why? because of the 
twist or curl in the air which the pitcher imparts to the ball. 
A very interesting account is given by Mr. R. A. Proctor in 
'Longman's Magazine ' for June 1887 of a well-known English 
■cricketer's failure to strike the full-pitches of one of the best 
American pitchers. Time after time the bat struck the air and 
nothing else ; and this was simply owing to the curl the pitchei 
put on the ball. Mr. Proctor scientifically explains the curl in 
the air, and it may be of interest to insert a short extract from 
his article : — 

When a ball (or in fact any missile) is advancing rapidly 
through the air, there is formed in front of it a small aggregation 
of compressed air. (In passing we may remark that the compressed 


air in front of an advancing cannon ball has been rendered dis- 
cernible — we can hardly say visible — by instantaneous photography.) 
In shape the cushion of air is conical or rather conoidal, if the ball 
is advancing without spin ; and theiefore it resists the progress of 
the ball equally on all sides, and only affects the ball's velocity. 
The same is the case if the ball is spinning on an axis lying along 
its course. But in the case we have to consider, where the ball is 
spinning on an axis square to its course, the cushion of compressed 
air formed by the advancing ball has no longer this symmetrical 
shape. On the advancing side of the spinning surface the air 
cannot escape so readily as it would if there were no spin ; on the 
other side it escapes more readily than it would but for the spin. 
Hence the cushion of air is thrown towards that side of the ball 
where the spin is forwards and removed from the other side. The 
same thing then must happen as were a ball encounters a cushion 
aslant. A ball driven squarely against a very soft cushion plunges 
straight into it, turning neither to the right nor to the left, or if 
deflected at all (as against a billiard cushion) comes straight back 
on its course ; but if driven aslant against the cushion, it is deflected 
from the region of resistance. So with the base ball. As the 
cushion of air against which it is advancing is not opposed squarely 
to it, but is stronger on one side than on the other, the ball is 
deflected from the region of greatest resistance. 

There is one style of slow bowling that has of late years 
almost completely vanished from first-class cricket : we refer to 
under-hand slows. When Ridley left off bowling lobs, about 
twelve years ago, nobody except Humphreys attempted to 
bowl lobs, but in 1897 Jephson, of Surrey, has introduced 
them again with some success, and we hope he will prosper. 
As under- hand was at one time the only bowling that was 
allowed by the rules of cricket, and as it met with a great 
amount of success, even after the raising of the arm was 
permitted, it will be as well to refer to the cause that has 
brought about its practical abolition. This is owing to the 
increasing popularity of the game, and the consequent great 
increase in the number of good batsmen. The greatest under- 
hand bowler that ever played was probably William Clarke, 
whose merits have been so often discussed in cricket writings 
that it is unnecessary to repeat them here. In order to ascer- 


tain the style of batsmen Clarke made his great reputation 
against, we must refer to some one who has seen and known 
the great bowler and conversed with those who were in the 
habit of playing against him. We are told that Clarke had 
perfect accuracy of pitch, a quick rise from the ground, and a 
good leg twist on his bowling. These attributes in an under- 
arm bowler, most excellent as they are, would not nowadays, 
with the present efficient state of batting, justify the name of 
the possessor being placed in the first rank, because we con- 
sider no amount of accuracy of pitch, twist, or anything else 
can ever secure this coveted distinction to a bowler of this 
kind. Mr. Pycroft gives us the information we require on 
the subject of batting against Clarke's bowling. He says with 
regard to Pilch, at that time the best batsman of the day, c He 
played him back all day if he bowled short, and hit him hard 
all along the ground whenever he over-pitched; and v some 
times he would go in to Clarke's bowling, not to make a 
furious swipe, but to " run him down " with a straight bat.' 

Now this description of the play of a man who was able 
to meet Clarke's bowling is interesting to us, because it shows 
us that the way in which the great bowler was played by one of 
the few who could oppose him successfully is exactly the same 
method in which every good batsmen of the present time does 
play under-hand bowling. If any man of to-day, chosen to take 
part in the Gentlemen v. Players match as a batsman, were to 
endeavour to play under-hand bowling in any other manner, 
he would be laughed at as being devoid of the most elementary 
rules of the game. Mr. Pycroft goes on to tell us the way 
which many did adopt in playing Clarke. He says, ' This 
going in to Clarke's bowling some persons thought necessary 
for every ball, forgetting that discretion is the better part 
of cricket ; the consequence was that many wickets fell from 
positive long-hops.' This description shows that a great number 
of those who fell victims to Clarke's bowling were absolutely 
uninitiated in the first principles of playing slows, viz. never to 
hit except on the volley, or just as the ball pitches. Nowadays 


■every batsman — at any rate all who play in first-class cricket — 
knows the danger of playing wildly at under-hand ' lobs,' as they 
are called. Occasional mistakes are made, no doubt, when 
an unexpected lob bowler appears, but more from wildness 
and anxiety to score than from any ignorance as to the mode 
of playing such balls. The way to play lobs is exactly the 
method Mr. Pycroft tells us was adopted by the great Fuller 

Slow lobs have therefore in first-class cricket died a natural 
death, and although we may expect to find a lob bowler occa- 
sionally cropping up here and there, we do not think there is 
much prospect of seeing an exemplar of this style who will ever 
attain the rank of a first-class bowler such as that acquired by 
Clarke, Mr. V. E. Walker, and Tinley. Mr. A. W. Ridley was 
the last well-known amateur under- arm bowler who made a 
mark in first-class cricket. His performance against Cambridge 
in the now famous University match is too well known to need 
record here. Humphreys of Sussex has only retired two or 
three seasons, and for a long time he got a lot of wickets. 
His bowling has always been useful to his county, but during 
the season of 1893 it has met with extraordinary success. He 
has great command over the ball and can consequently vary 
its flight, pitch and break at will. Humphreys will always be 
a terror to those batsmen who prefer to hit the ball in the air 
Tather than along the ground, and to those who recklessly leave 
•their ground and hit wildly at the pitch of the ball. J. B. 
Wood of Oxford has occasionally got wickets for his University 
with lobs, and helped materially to win the match v. Cambridge 
in 1892 ; but he, though useful as a change, is a long way re- 
moved from a good lob bowler, and, indeed, his best ball would 
seem to be a straight high full pitch. Although we have stated 
that lob bowling has died a natural death, and cannot ever be 
expected to cope with the present state of batting, still under- 
hand slows are occasionally such an excellent change that we 
are sorry they are not more practised. It is not, however, won- 
derful that there are so few lob bowlers who can go on at a 


pinch for a change, when we consider what has been already 
said about batting having mastered the art of under-hand ; men 
will not practise any art unless they have some fair prospect of 
being ultimately successful, and knowing that lobs will only be 
useful very occasionally and cannot attain to great success, they 
will not practise them. It is a pity they do not, as over and over 
again we see instances of a good wicket falling to' a poorish lob 
bowler when everything else has failed. The previous remarks 
about under-hands refer to first-class cricket ; against schools 
and against second-class batsmen lobs have been and always 
will be particularly deadly. There is something so tempting to- 
an inexperienced player in seeing a ball chucked up in the air 
slowly and simply, it looks so very easy to hit, so peculiarly 
guileless, that a wild slog is frequently the result, too often 
followed by disastrous consequences. 

For this reason the captain of every school eleven should 
insist on one of his team devoting himself to lob bowling ; a 
little practice will enable any one to get a fairly accurate pitch,, 
and twist from the leg side any boy can manage. Lob bowl- 
ing thus acquired at school will often be useful in after days as 
a change, even in first-class cricket. There are one or two 
simple rules connected with lob bowling which everyone who- 
attempts this style should master. 

First. — Do not bowl too slow ; if the ball is thrown high 
and slow in the air, a good batsman, quick on his legs, will have 
time to reach and hit it before it pitches. Old Clarke used to 
say, • It wants a certain amount of pace to make a good-length 
ball with proper rise and twist.' The ball should be sent at 
such speed as will oblige the batsman to play forward to it. 

Secondly. — A good long run should be taken, as this gets way 
and ' fire ' on to the ball, and is always more likely than a short 
run to deceive the batsman as to the pitch. 

Thirdly. — Generally bowl round the wicket. 

Most of the remarks that we have made on slow round- 
arm leg-break bowling apply to slow lobs. 

Having devoted a number of pages to the subject of slow 


bowling, let us now turn to the consideration of what is almost 
equally important — fast bowling ; indeed, it may be said that the 
co-operation of a good fast bowler is absolutely essential if a 
team wants to rank amongst the best, particularly as, if there 
be one of each sort bowling at either end, the change in pace 
is more likely to embarrass the batsman than if he had to 
play two bowlers of the same pace. Between 1872 and 1887 
there was a great dearth of good fast bowlers, at the time much 
regretted and not easily accounted for. Now there is a great 
improvement, and fast bowling gets much more attention paid 
to it than formerly was the case. 

Although ordinary fast balls are easy to play on good wickets, 
however, it is but seldom that a wicket which is good at the 
beginning of a match remains so to the close. The ground 
wears and cuts up with the continual pitching of the ball and the 
tramp of feet, and fast bowling on such occasions often becomes 
most deadly. Then, again, a fast quick delivery to a new- 
comer, even though the best of batsmen, may deceive him in 
the pace, and, before the eye gets accustomed to the light and 
the hand becomes steady, cheat him into playing back at a ball 
which ought to have been met with forward play. Often have 
crack batsmen been dismissed summarily by the first or second 
ball coming quicker than they expected off the pitch. Murdoch, 
the famous Australian batsman, was particularly apt to mistime 
fast bowling on first going in, and several times has the author 
seen his stumps shattered immediately by an ordinary straight 
fast ball without any ' work ' at all on it. The tail end of a team 
are usually victims to a good straight fast bowler, as, unless a 
fast bowler is met by straight fearless forward play, he is bound 
to be dangerous, and it very rarely happens that the tail end of 
an ordinary team, even a county team, is capable of this. A 
great deal has been said and written about young fast bowlers 
bowling too fast for their strength, thus overtaxing their powers 
and over-bowling themselves. It is doubtless a fact that many 
young promising fast bowlers have been rendered useless by 
this anxiety to get more pace on the ball than their strength 


warranted ; and there can be no better advice to a young as- 
pirant for the honours of a fast bowler than that so often given, 
viz. \ Bowl within your strength, or else you will over-bowl your- 
self.' Although the wisdom and truth of this warning are generally 
ascertained by personal experience pretty early in the career of 
most fast bowlers, it is seldom, we are sorry to say, remembered 
in actual practice — which remissness, we are bound to add, does 
not in the least surprise us. It may possibly sound like heresy 
to many old cricketers to say that in fast bowling pace is nearly 
everything ; but such is our opinion. Assume that a man can 
bowl straight and a good length — i.e. has a good command over 
the ball — and then it may be said that the faster he bowls the 
more likely he is to get wickets. And this is generally dis- 
covered by young bowlers who have an aptitude for fast bowl- 
ing, with the result that many c over-bowl ' themselves, strain 
muscles, rick shoulders, and render themselves useless. v 

The object of fast bowling is to beat the batsman by the 
pace of the ball, and if this object be accomplished the ball will 
either be missed or a bad stroke will be made by the batsman. 
The faster the bowling the more likely it is that a batsman will 
be beaten both before and after the ball leaves the ground. 
Should the ball 'shoot' or 'get up,' the chances of its being 
played accurately are rendered much less when the ball leaves 
the ground with lightning-like speed and is almost invisible to 
the eye than when it leaves it with less speed, and gives the 
batsman an opportunity of seeing what is going to happen for 
an appreciable moment before it reaches him. Besides, the 
faster the bowling the more scope there is for the bowler to 
change his pace should he be one of the few fast bowlers who 
have the power of so doing with advantage. While saying that 
pace is everything in a fast bowler, we do not wish for a moment 
to cry down or disparage the advantages of medium-paced bowl- 
ing. This style has its own characteristics, which are more 
closely allied to slow bowling than to fast ; but at the same 
time there are many moderately good medium-paced bowlers 
now bowling with some success in first-class matches who 


would be much more deadly and successful could they add 
about half as much speed again to their bowling. There are, of 
course, men who, on the other hand, spoil a good style by trying 
to bowl too fast— men who depend for their success on peculi- 
arity in flight and the work on the ball. Every man must judge 
for himself; if he possess great powers of twist combined 
with accuracy, and anything peculiar or difficult to see in his 
action, then let him devote himself to slow or medium-paced 

When the first edition of this work was published, first- 
class cricket was almost entirely without any really fast good 
bowling. Things have changed since then, and the hope that 
we then expressed that a new race of good fast bowlers would 
arise has been happily fulfilled. Ten years ago the only really 
fast professional bowler was Ulyett of Yorkshire. He was fast, 
and bumpy, and occasionally most deadly with his break-backs. 
Allan Hill of the same county, with his easy and beautiful de- 
livery, ' had retired owing to increasing years. There were 
brilliant comets for a season or so who shone brightly and then 
quickly disappeared. Harrison, likewise of Yorkshire, seemed 
likely to make his mark, but after a brilliant beginning vanished 
from the scene of first-class cricket. Crossland of Lancashire, 
for a brief period, mowed down the County Palatine's opponents 
like ninepins, but he too retired — a victim to the just cry 
against unfair bowling. There was Bowley of Surrey, a very 
fast and uncertain bowler, who was perhaps the best fast bowler 
for a season or so, but it was a pitiful best for English cricket 
to produce. Amongst the amateurs were A. Rotherham r 
S. Christopherson, Whitby and C. Toppin. H. Rotherham, at 
the beginning of his career, his last year at Uppingham and the 
year following, was a very deadly bowler. He had a good 
slow ball and a splendid yorker ; but he only lasted a very 
short time. S. Christopherson was a fairly good fast bowler 
at one time, but he took a good deal out of himself with his 
action, and soon lost the fire and life that a fast bowler must 
possess. The temporary absence of good fast bowlers during 


some of the years between 1880 and 1888 was one of the most 
remarkable facts connected with first-class cricket. It was the 
more remarkable because it was only a few years before this 
that nearly all the great bowlers were fast : the list included 
Tarrant, Jackson, and Freeman, whose bowling used, it was said, 
to hum in the air ; and after these what a harvest of fast 
amateur bowlers there was — Butler, Francis, Powys, Evans, 
Morton, and names too numerous to mention. 

Now, we are happy to say, English cricket can once more be 
proud of her array of fast bowlers. Richardson of Surrey, the 
greatest in our judgment that ever lived, Mold and Cuttell of 
Lancashire, Hearne and Davidson are all good fast bowlers. 
Among amateurs, S. M. J. Woods was the best, but for the last 
few seasons he has been handicapped by a sprain, but when at 
his best he was a magnificent fast bowler with a most deceptive 
slow ball ; while Jackson, Kortright, Jessop, and Cunliffe are 
all far above the average. 

As mentioned above, with reference to slow bowling, the 
higher the hand and arm are raised at the moment of deliver- 
ing the ball, the higher the ball will bound after it leaves the 
pitch. A fast bowler should always bear this in mind, and 
keep his hand as high as possible. It is simply a matter of 
ordinary common sense that a ball which rises up high from the 
pitch is more difficult for a batsman to get over and smother 
than one that comes on low and skimming. A fast ball, when 
it is anything like a good length, must be met with the bat, i.e. 
it must be played with the forward stroke ; consequently a ball 
that rises quickly from' the pitch, and is still rising when it 
meets the bat, is extremely likely to rise higher still after it 
leaves it, unless it is played with great care and caution. 

The low skimming fast bowler is generally an easy man to 
play ; the batsman, when the ground is true, can play hard 
forward to almost any length of ball j there is no abrupt rise to 
render an uppish stroke probable, even if he does slightly mis- 
judge the pace and length of the ball. There is, of course, in 
fast bowling, a much greater difficulty in getting any appreciable 



twist on to the ball than in slow. The ball leaves the ground 
so quickly that it is hardly in contact with it long enough to 
• bite ' the turf, and so avail itself of any spin that may have 
been imparted to it by tne bowler. It is to be remembered, 
however, that the slightest deviation of a fast ball from its 
course after it has pitched is, if a good length, most likely to 
deceive the batsman. The latter is bound to play to the pitch 
of the ball, as it leaves the ground so quickly as to render it 
impossible for him to follow it with the eye in its course from 
the ground. He plays forward with a straight bat to meet it \ 
should it turn an inch or two he will most likely miss it. 

The off break is the one most usually attempted by fast 
bowlers ; the ball is grasped firmly, generally by the seam, to 
give the hand a firmer grip, and is delivered in the same way 
as described for the slow off break. There have been but 
few really fast bowlers who have been able consistently to 
make their balls come ' back.' Every now and then, however, 
for some unaccountable reason, a fast bowler finds that he is 
making the ball do a lot from the off side. Perhaps his grasp 
is firmer and his wrist and fingers are more powerful than on 
ordinary occasions, or the ground may have more turf on it, or, 
for some other reason, his bowling twists in from the pitch with 
most fatal results to the batsmen. 

If a fast bowler happen to be a man of strong physique, 
which is usually the case, a fairly long run up to the wickets 
before delivering the ball is an advantage to his bowling. This 
gives more impetus to the ball, and what is popularly known as 
'devil.' Spofforth, the Australian bowler, when bowling fast, 
took a much longer run than when bowling medium pace. It 
is also an advantage to keep the batsman waiting for the deli- 
very of the ball, which happens when the bowler runs several 
yards up to the wicket. For a fast bowler who intends to 
change his pace from very fast to medium slow, a long run is 
of great advantage, as the sight of the bowler coming up to the 
wicket before the delivery of a slow ball as fast as before the 
delivery of a fast one, is extremely likely to take in the bats- 


man with regard to the pace. There are not so many tricks 
and dodges in the art of bowling fast as there are in bowling 
slow ; the chief object to be sought is to bowl straight and good 
length, and to make the ball bound. A fast bowleg when first 
being put on, should remember that his muscles are probably- 
stiff, and that he may not at first be able to bowl as accu- 
rately and as fast as he will be when thoroughly warmed to 
his work. For this reason it is always well to bowl two or 
three balls to one side of the wicket before beginning. These 
should be not quite at full speed, for fear of straining or ricking 
a muscle not yet in full swing, but a good medium pace. It 
is always best for a fast bowler to try a ball or two before 
beginning, excepting in circumstances when he is called upon 
to bowl to some one he has never bowled to before, and 
especially so to some one who has never seen him bowl. How 
often when batting have we silently chuckled with joy at seeing 
a man quite unknown to us rapidly loosening his arms with two 
or three balls before beginning to bowl ! It is a great thing to 
have an unknown bowler on one's side, but he loses half his 
value if his style and action are revealed to the batsman before 
he receives the ball. In 1886 the writer was playing in a match 
against the Australians, when, although things had been going 
very well for the English side, the team was beginning to get 
tied up into a knot owing to the steady careful way in which 
Scott, the colonial captain, was defying all the efforts of our 
bowlers to dislodge him. A fast bowler, who had never seen 
Scott in his life before, was deputed to bowl, and was pro- 
ceeding to get ready for 'two or three down' to loosen his arm, 
when he was told not to mind his arm being stiff, but to bowl 
the first over as fast as ever he could. The first ball sent 
Scott's leg-stump flying j it was quite a simple ball, never 
turned a hair's breadth either way, but the action and pace of 
the bowler took him in, and this would have been very unlikely 
to happen had he had an opportunity of seeing the bowler's 

A fast bowler must be straight to be good. This is not the 


art of one skilled in the dodges of slows ; he has to bowl 
straight, and a good length too, or else the runs will come at 
an enormous rate. In the present day it is usual to do with- 
out a long-stop even to the fastest bowlers; this makes it 
imperatively necessary for the bowler not to bowl to leg, 
or, if missed by the batsman, the balls have a good chance 
of flying past the wicket-keeper to the boundary for four. 
Whether it is a good principle to do without long-stops, even 
when the best wicket-keepers are behind the sticks, is a 
doubtful point. 

A fast bowler should have such command over the ball 
as to be able to bowl a 'yorker' whenever he wishes, for 
the fact may be repeated that a fast ' yorker ' is a most deadly 

Spofforth and Palmer, the Australians, and Rotherham, 
the old Uppingham bowler, Woods, and Mold were about the 
best fast ' yorker ' bowlers of modern times. The ball came 
from these bowlers as high as the arm would allow, and 
seemed to fly like an arrow, with lightning-like rapidity, 
straight to the block-hole, or a few inches inside it. A high- 
action 'yorker' is more likely to deceive a batsman than a 
low-action one, as in the former case the starting-point of 
the ball is above the line of vision, and in the latter on a 
line with or below it, which naturally makes the course and 
pace of the ball more easy for the eye to judge. A very 
common error into which good fast ' yorker ' bowlers fall is 
not being content with trying the ball occasionally to a 
batsman, and when he first comes on or when they first go 
on, but persistently trying, over after over, to break down his 
guard with a ball with which he is evidently quite at home, 
and which presents no terrors to him. The result of this 
mistake is that the balls get considerably punished, either by 
being driven on the full-pitch or else on the half-volley, the 
latter ball being often the result of a tired-out ' yorker ' bowler's 
persistency. The writer remembers, when playing in a match 
some years ago, asking W. G. Grace, who was on the same side, 


what sort of a fast bowler a certain man was who was going on 
to bowl. ' Oh, I'm never frightened of him ; he is always try- 
ing to " york " you, and bowls any amount of half-volleys,' was 
the reply, and this was soon proved to be, like most of the 
champion cricketer's opinions, perfectly accurate. 

A good length just outside the off stump and between the 
off and middle stump is the direction that may be commended 
to the bowler who bowls over the wicket, and tries to get a 
little off spin on the ball. The leg-stump, in olden days, was 
considered the most deadly spot for a fast bowler to aim at ; 
but since every first-class batsman now stands up to his wicket, 
and does not draw away an inch when the ball comes between 
it and his legs, leg-stump bowling is rather expensive work. 
By all means let fast bowlers lay siege to the leg-stump of in- 
ferior batsmen ; but good batsmen, getting over this 1 ball, will 
play it with an almost perfectly straight bat on the outside, and 
tax it most unmercifully for the total of their side. 

As a rule, it is better for a fast bowler to bowl over the 
wicket, as by so doing he has more of the wicket to bowl at, 
and has, consequently, a slightly better chance of hitting it if 
the ball is missed by the batsman. He has also a greater chance 
of an appeal for leg before wicket being answered in his 
favour than if bowling from the other side of the wicket. 
There are some fast bowlers, however, who must, from the very 
nature of their action and delivery, bowl from round the wicket, 
viz. those who have either a natural bias from the on to the off, 
or who are able by their strength of wrist and fingers to impart 
such a bias to the ball. A man who bowls from the very extent 
of the crease outside the wicket, and whose bowling has natu- 
rally or otherwise this leg side bias — it can hardly be called twist 
in fast bowling — is a particularly awkward customer for the 
batsman. There is such a constant tendency and inclination 
for the ball to keep going farther away to the off side, both be- 
fore and after its pitch, that the greatest care must be exercised 
by the batsman to prevent himself playing inside the ball and 
putting it up either to point, third man, or short-slip. A fast 

1 66 CRICKET. 

ball that comes in from the leg side is the most difficult ball 
that has to be played, assuming its good length. There have 
been very few — too few — fast right-handed bowlers who have 
been able to manage this ball, but there are many instances 
of left-handed men who have attained to great accuracy with 
it. The late Fred Morley, of Nottingham, and Emmett, of 
Yorkshire, are instances. 

About thirty years ago there were numerous good fast 
bowlers, who used to get the leg bias on the ball in the follow- 
ing way : They bowled round the wicket, and delivered the 
ball from about the height of the hip ; the backs of the fingers 
were presented to the batsman before and at the moment of 
delivery ; the result being that the ball had on it a slight amount 
of what, in slow bowling, we have described as leg-break. This 
was a useful style, and it is a pity that it has almost altogether 
died out at the present day. 

It is quite impossible to say with any certainty what essen- 
tials are necessary in fast bowling before it can be ranked 
as first-class ; so very much depends on whether the action is 
easy or difficult for the batsman to see. By the word ' see ' is 
meant whether the pace and pitch of the ball at the moment 
of delivery can be instantly gauged by the batsman or not. 
Given equal straightness, pace, and command over the ball 
in every respect, the bowler who has an action which it is easy 
to see cannot compare with the man who, from some peculiarity 
in the movements of his body at the moment of delivery, has 
an action which is not easy to see. Now, it is a very difficult 
task to lay down any rules or reasons why some bowlers are 
easier to see than others; but after a good deal of consideration 
on this subject the writer has come to the conclusion that the 
bowlers who do not present a square front to the batsman when 
the ball is delivered, but who stand sideways or half turned, are, 
as a rule, the most difficult to judge. The hand comes then 
from behind the body, and is often not plainly seen till the 
very latest moment before delivery. There may be, and no 
doubt are, many mannerisms in bowlers which have their effect, 



but the above suggestion will probably be found to contain a 
good sound working rule. Take Giffen, the Australian ; almost 
as much of his back as his front was visible to the batsman 
when he delivered the ball, and his bowling was most difficult 
to see— at any rate until the batsman was thoroughly well set. 

Low delivery. 

Perhaps the best English batsmen have made more bad and 
utterly mistimed strokes off Giffen than off any other modern 
bowler. Spofforth may have bowled more men out, but Giffen 
certainly was the cause of more misjudged and uppish strokes, 
due, in all probability, to the fact of his bowling being so diffi- 
cult to see. 

1 68 • CRICKET. 

The best bit of bowling the writer ever recollects playing 
against was in the second innings of the Gentlemen of Eng- 
land v. Australians, at Lord's in 1884. It was Giffen's day, 
and a batsman had to have 'luck on his side if he succeeded 
in staying in long enough to appreciate the beauty of the 
bowling. Take Peate and Emmett, the two Yorkshire left- 
handers, both in their day the best bowlers in England — 
both these men stand sideways to the batsman when they 
deliver the ball, and both are most difficult to see. Palmer, the 
Australian, bowled very nearly quite square ; his bowling was 
very easy to see and to judge, and the more credit is therefore 
due to him for being such a successful bowler. There is no 
doubt a greater difficulty in attaining to perfect length and 
command over the ball w r hen the body of the bowler is not 
square at the moment of delivery ; but if these essentials to 
good bowling are obtained by patience and constant practice, 
the bowler has this great advantage, that his balls are more 
difficult for the batsman to judge accurately. It seems strange 
that not one of the numerous published books on cricket has 
ever suggested the advantage to the bowler which is obtained 
in this way. In almost every one of these works great stress is 
laid upon the necessity of the bowler presenting a full face to 
the opposite wicket at the moment the ball leaves the hand. It 
is doubtless easier for a beginner to bowl straight if he adopts 
this style of bowling ; but if he can once gain straightness by 
the other, viz. the sideways style, he has enlisted a great help to 

W. G. Grace is, however, an exception to this rule. He 
delivers the ball perfectly square with the batsman j and yet we 
suppose that to a batsman who meets him for the first time, 
his bowling is about as difficult to see and to judge as that of 
any bowler ever was. It is a fact that his bowling is invariably 
fatal to men he has not met before. This is owing to the 
hovering flight that his action imparts to the ball. The first 
time the writer ever played against W. G. Grace's bowling was 


at Cambridge in 1878. and on the way to the wickets he was 
greeted with the cheering cry, ' 111 get you out ; I always get 
youngsters out ! ' and surely enough he did, caught and bowled 
for two or thereabouts. What the champion did next morning 
showed that he was as generous and kind to young cricketers 
as he was skilful in the game. He took the writer to the nets 
prior to the beginning of the second day's play, and saying that 
youngsters required to know his bowling before being at home 
with it, he proceeded to bowl for quite twenty minutes to him ; 
a comprehension of his method was thus gained, and the result 
was an addition to the Cambridge score of some forty odd 
in the second innings. Few latter-day cricketers would do 

Perhaps one of the reasons why W. G. Grace is so deadly to 
young cricketers is this : the batsman, seeing an enormous man 
rushing up to the wickets, with both elbows out, great black 
beard blowing on each side of him, and a huge yellow cap on 
the top of a dark swarthy face, expects something more than 
the gentle lobbed-up ball that does come ; he cannot believe 
that this baby-looking bowling is really the great man's, and 
gets flustered and loses his wicket. W. G. Grace is certainly 
enormous, and a year or two ago at Lord's an amusing remark 
might have been overheard on this subject. The England v. 
Australia match was being played. W. G. walked out into the 
field side by side with Briggs of Lancashire, the latter, as is 
well known, being very small, perhaps hardly up to W. G.'s 
elbow. A small child of about five was in the pavilion with his 
father, and said, 'Father, who is that big man?' 'That's 
Dr. Grace, the champion,' said the papa; and 'Who is the 
little one ? ' the child continued. ' That is Briggs.' Dead 
silence for a few moments, and then, 'Papa, is Briggs Dr. 
Grace's baby ? ' 

Although power of pace, straightness, and command 
over the ball are the really essential qualities of good fast 
bowling— as, indeed, of all sorts— there are many occasions when 

i 7 o CRICKET. 

fortune smiles upon bowling which possesses none of these 
good attributes. And it is for this reason, we think, that every 
cricketer should be able to bowl when called upon to do so by 
his captain. Every man who has played cricket has bowled at 
a net, and he certainly has an action which is different from 
everybody else's. As a rule, men who are not considered 
regular bowlers can send the ball in somehow or other at a 
fairly fast pace more or less straight, and these unknown, wild, 
and erratic bowlers often succeed in getting rid of well-set bats- 
men who have defied all the efforts of the recognised bowlers 
of the side. There are numerous instances of a side being 
deeply indebted to a bowler who never before nor afterwards 
showed the slightest ability to get wickets. In Australia in 
1882, when Ivo Bligh's English team was playing combined 
Australia, on a certain occasion two of the best Australian bats- 
men — Murdoch and Bannerman — seemed immovable. They 
had been in for about an hour, and every one of the regular 
English bowlers had been on and off. A suggestion was made 
to try C. F. H. Leslie. Now this gentleman, with all his great 
merits, was never, even in the estimation of his best friends, a 
great bowler. But on he went with pleasure, as every cricketer 
should when ordered. The first ball was a very fast one, 
rather wide, the second ditto, but the third one — 'Ah, the 
third ! ' — was a head ball, designed after the manner of Spof- 
forth's best ; and it pitched on the middle of Murdoch's 
middle stump! The next comer was Horan, at that time 
the reputed best player of fast bowling in the Colonies. A very 
fast long-hop, wide on the off side, was prettily cut straight 
into Barlow's hands at third man, and Mr. Leslie had secured 
two wickets for no runs. He continued for another over or 
two, had Bannerman beautifully stumped by Mr. Tylecote off a 
fast wide half- volley on the leg side, and then retired in favour 
of one of the regular bowlers, after having, simply by wild 
erratic fast delivery, lowered three of the best Australian 
wickets. We give this as an example of the principle that every 
cricketer should try to bowl, and if he finds that he cannot 


attain to any efficiency, even with constant practice, then let 
him try to ' sling in ' as hard as ever he possibly can ; he will 
often be of use to his side when in a fix. 

Before leaving the subject of fast bowling a word must be 
said about what — some years ago, and again now — may be 
called the great cricket bugbear of the last few years— viz. 
throwing. It is worthy of notice that when over-arm bowling 
was first allowed a great outcry arose, and there were not 
wanting those who prophesied that this 'hand over head' style 
would ultimately result in * a mere over-hand throw — a kind 
of pelting, with a little mannerism or flourish to disguise it.' 
Now it is an astonishing thing that, in a great variety of cases, 
this is just what actually has happened. Some of the bowl- 
ing that has been allowed to pass unnoticed by umpires is 
well described by the phrase quoted ; but, although this is 
so, there are many minor offenders whom all would like to 
see pulled up short, not out of any ill-will to them personally, 
but in the interests of the game. Now throwing is most 
pernicious to cricket, and is calculated, if allowed to increase 
(as it surely will unless promptly suppressed by the authorities, 
backed by public opinion), to exercise a most disastrous 
effect on the game. The subject of throwing is sometimes 
pooh-poohed by prominent cricketers, w T ho have remarked, 
' What does it matter whether a man bowls or throws ? ' If 
it makes no difference, by all means let the M.C.C. at 
once expunge the rule relating to throwing and jerking. 
But let us pause for a moment to see if there are any reasons 
to suppose that it does make a difference. There are, in 
truth, two very good reasons why throwing should be stopped. 
First, if it were allowed it would seriously interfere with the 
art of bowling. The reasons for this proposition are as 
follows : In throwing there is no scope for dissimilarity of 
style. All men who throw must, from the very nature of the 
delivery, send the ball on its course with exactly the same 
description of spin. It is impossible for a thrower to make 
the ball go across the w T icket from the leg to the on side ; every 

1 72 CRICKET. 

ball which leaves a thrower's hand has the off-side spin on 
it, and none other is possible. Any style which tends to cramp 
bowling, as this does, must be bad. Again, a throwing bowler 
cannot change his pace as other bowlers do ; he dare not bowl 
che slow high-dropping ball so successfully used by Spofforth 
and others, because he knows that when his arm and wrist 
move slowly the unfair jerk of the wrist and elbow will be 
more manifest than when it is partially concealed by the usual 
quick movement of his arm. If throwing tends to cramp bowl- 
ing, as it does, and render certain essentials for the develop- 
ment of the science impossible, then it must be injurious to 
the game. Secondly, if throwing were allowed the batsman 
would be in a position of considerable danger. Many cricketers 
say, ' Let throwers alone, they are always easy to play ; ' and 
this, no doubt, is so, for the reasons given above, especially 
when every thrower must, for the sake of appearances, adopt 
some slight measure of disguise in his action ; but once let it 
be recognised that throwing is part of the game, and a race of 
sturdy chuckers will spring up, whose pace will be so terrific 
that the best and pluckiest batsman will not be able to defend 
his body, much less his wicket, against their lightning-like 
deliveries. Imagine what it would be if Bonnor, or Forbes, 
or Game were to be allowed to throw, all of them having 
thrown in their best days as much as 120 yards — is it likely 
that a batsman at a distance of only twenty-one yards could be 
quick enough with his bat to stop such bowling ? Even with 
an ordinary fast bowler a batsman has sometimes difficulty in 
preventing himself from being struck by the ball, and with an 
undisguised thrower the danger would be tenfold. 

The question then arises, what can be done to stop the 
throwing nuisance ? And it is one which every member of the 
cricket-loving community should ask himself. It is a question 
of the greatest difficulty, as is evident from the fact that the 
committee of the M.C.C. have so far found it impossible to 
legislate with regard to the nuisance. The committee has 


done everything in its power ; it has instructed the umpires to 
watch closely the delivery of every doubtful bowler, and pro- 
bably the umpires have acted fully up to their instructions ; 
but they have stopped here, and absolutely refused to report 
to the world the result of their careful observations. It is a 
fact that of late years no professional umpire in a first-class 
match has no-balled a professional bowler for throwing. This 
is not to be wondered at : professional umpires themselves 
have been professional bowlers, and they cannot bring them- 
selves to take the bread out of the mouth of one of their own 
class by no-balling him, and stigmatising him at once and for 
ever as a ' thrower.' 

We cannot get amateur umpires to stand : these would, no 
doubt, fearlessly no-ball any unfair bowler ; but if we could, we 
should probably find that the quantity of bad decisions in the 
course of the year would be greatly increased. An umpire wants 
practice and experience in keeping his attention and whole mind 
fixed impartially on the game, and this can only be acquired by 
those who stand day after day in that capacity. 

The only way, then, to our mind, to stop throwing, as the 
M.C.C. cannot and the umpires will not, is to get public 
opinion to step in and sweep it off our cricket grounds. Let 
every amateur cricketer, whether he plays for his county or his 
village club, set his face resolutely against the evil, and do his 
utmost to discourage it. If an ' Anti -Throwing Society ' could 
be established amongst cricketers, we firmly believe it would 
effect its object. 

In the North of England, where the game is ever increas- 
ingly popular, there are many 'chuckers' to be met with. 
The clubs who do not possess, to say the least, a doubtful 
bowler are, we should say from our experience, in the minority. 
Young professional bowlers see the general laxity that prevails, 
and adopt the peculiar flick of the wrist and elbow, hoping 
thereby to get more twist on the ball, and this sooner or later 
develops into a throw. Young bowlers of this description get 



drafted from their village clubs into the county team, and there- 
by augment the number of 'doubtful' bowlers in first-class 
matches. Now if every amateur stood out against this system, 
and even went so far as to say, ' I will not be one of a team 
that wins its matches by such means,' unfair bowling would 
soon die out. 

It may be accepted as an absolute truth that the greatest 
bowlers do not throw, and never have. Spofforth, Turner, Pal- 
mer, Lohmann, Richardson, Morley, and a host of others are 

true bowlers, and to the credit 
of the Australians it may be 
said that till 1896, when Jones 
and McKibbin came over, there 
had been no suspicion against 
any Colonial bowler, and it is a 
matter of great regret that both 
Jones and McKibbin must be 
described as very great offenders 
in the matter of throwing. 

U will be well for everyone 
to realise that, if this question is 
allowed to drift on from year to 
year without any serious protest 
from public opinion, it will become absolutely necessary for the 
committee of the M.C.C. to do something in the matter. What 
this should be is, as we have said, very doubtful, and many and 
varied would be the opinions of competent judges as to the form 
of legislation that would meet the evil. It can almost be taken 
for granted that it is impossible satisfactorily to define a throw, 
and even if this were not so the solution of the question would 
be no nearer, as there would be just the same difficulties in the 
way of an umpire saying that a bowler came within the defini- 
tion as there is now in saying that he throws. What is wanted 
is to get rid of throwers in small club and village matches, and 
then we should never get them drafted into first-class cricket. 

Doubtful delivery. 

BOWLING. j 75 

If the umpire at either end were allowed to no-ball, we believe 
the system of throwing would receive a serious blow. It often 
happens that the thrower can only bowl at his own umpire's end ; 
if he attempted it at the other end he knows what would await 
him ; and if both umpires had the right to no-ball for throwing, 
this difficulty would be overcome by his not being able to bowl 
at either end. It is, however, earnestly to be hoped that no 
change of any sort in the rules will be necessary, but that all true 
cricketers will unite in discountenancing that which is always a 
source of wrangling and dispute. 

Before leaving the subject of fast bowling a few remarks on 
the position of the field will not be out of place. Every bowlei 
who is worth his salt knows much better than anyone else how 
the field should be placed to his bowling. So much depends upon 
the style and favourite strokes of the batsman to be dislodged and 
the mode of attack that is going to be brought into requisition, 
that the general rules we suggest here are more as a guide to 
young fast bowlers than to those who have gained their experi- 
ence. To a fast over the wicket round-arm bowler (on a true 
wicket) the field should be placed as on page 176. 

Should the bowler, however, be one who changes his pace to 
slow and relies occasionally on quite a slow head ball, it will be 
as well to bring short-leg half-way between the umpire and the 
bowler, and put mid-on out deep in the field on the on side. On 
no occasion should short-slip be dispensed with; he should on a 
fast wicket be fairly fine, and if he is a quick active man with his 
hands (as he should be for this post), about eight yards from the 
wicket. The object of short-slip is to pick up snicks which just 
miss the wicket-keeper, and although he may hold a larger pro- 
portion of these quick snap catches when a long way from the 
wicket, he will get an infinitely greater number when closer in ; 
consequently, if he is a man of quick sight and tenacious 
hand, he will actually secure more catches close in, although at 
the same time he may miss more. The positions of long-leg, third 
man, short-leg, and mid-on depend to a great extent on the bats- 


man's play. It is a golden rule never to do without a point and 
cover-point, although in some instances — e.g. when a strong cut- 
ting batsman is in on a fast wicket — it is sometimes advisable to 
place point in front of the wicket and cover-point square. It is, 



3 B MAN 







The field for a fast right-arm bowler. 

however, but seldom that this is necessary, and many cricketers 
always view the change with some misgiving as to its correctness, 
because a good active cover-point in the usual place saves a large 
number of runs and, probably, gets more catches than any 


other man in the field, with the exception of the wicket-keeper 
and short-slip. 

A round the wicket fast bowler requires the field in much 
the same position. But in his case it is sometimes necessary to 
have an extra man on the leg side, as these bowlers are very apt 
to bowl between the legs and the wicket, which means with good 
batsmen that they get played on to the leg side, between mid-on 



a- MAN 






The field for a fast left-arm bowler. 

and short-leg. If this change is necessary long-leg may be sent 
almost to the boundary, very fine, behind the wicket, and long- 
stop be brought on to the leg side. A very fine long- leg pre- 
vents boundary byes, and generally manages to save the fine long- 
leg boundary hits. Unless there is a first- class man behind the 
stumps, however, this generally results with first-class bowling in 
rather too many extras to justify its continuance. Fast left-hand 



bowlers want more men on the off side, as, from the nature of 
their bowling, they get more punished in that direction than 
anywhere else. If fast left-hand bowling is accurate and straight, 
long-leg is usually dispensed with, and, in fact, mid-on as well 
is often taken to the other side of the wicket, leaving short- 
leg, who is brought forward a few yards, the only man on the leg 
side of the wicket. Then there is an unbroken line of fielders 
on the off side, which the batsman finds it difficult to break 
through if it is composed of active and energetic men. The 
way in which fast left-handed bowlers place their field is usually 
as on page 177. 

There is a class of fast left-hand bowlers who require more 
men on the on side— viz. those who give the ball the leg side 
bias on delivery, which, to a right-handed batsman, causes the 
ball to come in from the off side, or, as it is usually termed, 
to come with the arm. It is often necessary with this style of 
bowling to have a very fine short-leg, to stop the snicks and leg 
byes which are caused by the batsman playing outside the ball. 
Then a short-leg by the umpire is necessary, and also a mid-on, 
making three on the on side. Mr. Appleby, of Lancashire, is 
an example of this style of bowler, as is Wright of Kent, who at 
times is most deadly with the ball coming with the arm, espe- 
cially if he has any assistance from the lie of the ground. We 
have occasionally seen a left-arm bowler, like Emmett of York- 
shire — who relies exclusively on the off break, which, to a right- 
handed batsman, brings the ball from leg to off— involuntarily 
send down a ball that, instead of taking the bias imparted to it, 
for some strange and unaccountable reason went the other way, 
an accident which places the batsman in a most awkward fix. 

Some bowlers experience great difficulty in bowling to 
left-handed batsmen. The necessary alteration in their style 
seems to worry them and interfere with their accuracy of pitch. 
Usually a slow bowler tries to get a left-handed batsman caught 
on the off side. He places most of his men on this side, and 
bowls the off break (or, as it would be to a left-handed bats- 
man, the leg-break) with the object of getting the batsman 


to play inside the ball, and thus make an upstroke. In short, 
he places the men as a left-handed bowler places them when 
bowling to a right-handed batsman. Left-handed batsmen 
are notoriously strong and powerful in their off hitting, and 
consequently in this direction must the bait be laid. As a rule, 
left-handed batsmen are apt to be a trifle wild and unable to 
restrain their keenness to hit, and consequently they pay the 
usual penalty of attempting to hit widish off balls going away 
from them. But occasionally a bowler meets a left-hander who 
is too wide awake and too good a batsman thus to throw away 
his chance of scoring, and then different tactics must be em- 
ployed. There have been, and are, wonderfully few really good 
left-handed batsmen in England, and the chance of. a bowler 
having to meet one of them is very slight. Between the years 
1 880 and 1890 there were only, in first class cricket, the late W. 
Scotton of Notts and Peel of Yorkshire and the late F. M. 
Lucas. The best of this class was perhaps F. M Lucas, whose 
early death in India will always be deeply regretted by his wide 
circle of friends. He was really an accomplished batsman with 
good sound defence and great punishing powers. A slow 
bowler might bowl for hours on the off side to him with the 
sole result of seeing four after four being despatched all along 
the ground to the boundary. Moses of Sydney has many times 
distinguished himself against our English teams in Australia, 
and was an excellent batsman. At the present time we have 
Ford, Clement Hill and Darling the Australians, and the two 
last are probably the two finest left-handed batsmen the world 
has seen. Ford as a hitter was perhaps the hardest left-hander 
that ever lived, and Hewett a few years ago was almost as hard. 
Bruce the Australian is a fine free left-handed batsman, and cer- 
tainly has a more graceful and finished style than any other left- 
hander we have yet seen. In our opinion, when a really good 
left-hander comes in, one who is not likely to get himself out 
on the off side by careless hitting, an attack should be made 
on his leg-stump. Most left-handers are good leg-hitters, but 
we have never yet seen one (not excepting those above 

n 2 


named) who was as good on the leg-stump as a first-class right- 
handed batsman. There is an awkwardness apparent in the 
left-hander's play to a ball pitching on the leg-stump, or just 
inside it, and there is always a great likelihood of a cross bat 
being used for a leg hit. Many and many a time has the writer, 
after trying the off-ball trick unsuccessfully against one of these 
batsmen, succeeded in dismissing him by bowling over the 
wicket at the leg-stump and between the legs and leg-stump 
of the batsman. This manoeuvre only entails a couple of 
men being brought across from the off side to stop the run- 

There is one species of ball which we have not discussed, 
deadly as it is, both in fast and slow bowling. This is the ball 
which, after the pitch, never rises, but shoots along the surface 
of the ground, and is commonly called a ' shooter.' The reason 
why no notice was taken of this when the different kinds of 
ball which may be bowled were being dealt with is because 
no amount of practice or skill can enable a bowler to bowl 
thus. It depends for existence upon inequalities in the ground. 
There are some grounds which have acquired great reputation 
for supplying ■ shooters ' for the benefit of bowlers ; but this 
reputation is unfortunately always accompanied by one for 
being lumpy and dangerous. Not a great many years ago 
Lord's used to be celebrated for shooters, owing to its rough 
condition ; and even now, well looked after as it is, shooters 
are of more frequent occurrence there than on most other 
good grounds. Although it is not in the power of any man 
to bowl shooters at will, still there is no doubt that men with 
a low delivery have a greater chance of being helped by a 
shooter than men who bowl with a high overhead action. 
The writer recollects at Cambridge, about 1879 or 1880, being 
told by a young professional bowler, engaged at the University 
ground at that time, that he had found out how to bowl shooters. 
He was a bowler of considerable promise, and had begun to 
make his mark in county cricket, but it being known that his 
cricket abilities far exceeded his intellectual powers, the an- 


nouncement of this wonderful discovery was received with some 
amount of doubt. However, out he came to bowl, to prove his 
prowess with the celebrated shooter ; but it simply appeared that, 
instead of bowling with an overhead delivery, which was his wont, 
he bent his body quite low, and proceeded to bowl in a manner 
which was hardly removed from genuine under-hand. It is 
unnecessary to say that there were no shooters. His balls kept 
low after the pitch because his action was low. 

There is one style of bowling sometimes seen in the present 
day that has not been mentioned, viz. fast under-arm. This 
is of two kinds : first, that which pitches a good length as with 
round-arm bowling ; secondly, ' sneaks,' or bowling that pitches 
near the bowler's hand and travels along the ground till the ball 
reaches the batsman. The latter can never be of any avail 
against a good player on a decent wicket, as every ball can be 
met by the forward stroke and rendered harmless. In country 
matches it is amusing to see the batsmen holding their bats in 
the air and trying to pounce down at the very last moment on 
these balls. This mode of playing such bowling is essentially 
incorrect, and would even be likely to cause the downfall of a 
good batsman ; it is as certain as anything can be at cricket 
that a good forward straight bat cannot miss a •' sneak.' Mr. 
C. I. Thornton at one time attempted this style of bowling, 
and was known to get a wicket or two. The good- length fast 
under-arm, when bowled round the wicket with a good leg twist 
on, might be made very dangerous. The old style of low 
round-arm, mentioned a few pages back, was very similar to this 
style of bowling, and was bowled with the same object as this 
has in view, viz. catches in the slips and on the off side. We 
only know of one fast under-arm, leg twist, good-length bowler, 
and he does not play in first-class cricket. His name is Bunch, 
an old sergeant of the Black Watch, well known on many mili- 
tary cricket-grounds all over England and India. Some years 
ago he was decidedly a good bowler, his balls came very fast, 
pitched good length on the leg-stump, and, having lots of leg 
stuff on, wanted very careful play. 

1 82 CRICKET. 

And now, after having discussed the different styles of 
bowling known in cricket, let us consider some of the main 
rules which must guide the action ot every bowler in the field. 
The first and chief principle that a young bowler must master 
is that he is bowling for his side's success, and not for his own ; 
and that, with that object in view, he has voluntarily placed 
himself under the leadership of his captain. He must, there- 
fore, give in at once, and readily, to every order. A captain is 
always ready to hear the suggestions of a bowler, and, as a 
rule, with regard to placing the field, is always willing to adopt 
them ; but should he not do so, the bowler must accept the 
decision with the best grace possible. There is nothing more 
discouraging and demoralising to a side than a sulky bowler — 
i.e. one who gets angry when spoken to, and subsequently 
adopts a defiant manner towards his captain. This bowler is 
usually a very poor stamp of sportsman, but unfortunately 
he may often be seen, and the marks by which he may be 
recognised are : First, bowling wildly and much faster than 
usual. Secondly, getting to his place at the end of his over 
after everyone else. Thirdly, if he fields a ball, throwing at 
the wicket, instead of to the wicket-keeper, as hard as he can, 
generally causing an over-throw. Fourthly, if he misses a 
ball in the field, standing still and allowing some more remote 
fielder to run after it, or else running after it himself at about 
he same pace as if he were just starting on a five-mile race. 
He is a great nuisance generally in the game. We do not deny 
that circumstances often arise when one is bowling that tax to 
ine utmost the temper of the mildest man in the world ; it is, 
to say the least, very irritating to try for half an hour to get a 
man caught out by a particular stroke off a particular ball, 
and then at the end see the ball bowled, the stroke made, and 
the catch missed ; but, as chance enters to a great extent into 
the game, the bowler ought to do his very utmost to curb his 
feelings, in the interests of others who are taking part in the 

A bowler should be ready to take any place in the field 


when he is not bowling. In these days, when slow bowling is 
frequently on at both ends, there is often a difficulty in getting 
four men to do the out-fielding. A bowler should not object at 
all to help his side by doing this out-country work. Although 
a great specialist in the field, such as an excellent cover-point 
or point, is always an object of admiration, more admirable still 
are men good at all places. W. G. Grace, A. N. Hornby, and 
many others we could mention were at one time equally safe 
and at home in any position where they were placed. 

A bowler should never grumble aloud at catches being 
missed ; the unfortunate man has done his best and failed, 
and any censure only makes him more flurried and adds to his 
discomfiture without doing any good. 

A golden rule for every bowler to observe is — after the 
batsman has played the ball, get back to the wicket as quickly 
as possible. Neglect of this rule loses many a 'run out.' If a 
bowler does not get back to his wicket, there is no one to take 
the ball and knock the bails off should the batsmen run arid 
the ball be returned to the bowler's end. When the ball is 
thrown up, the bowler should not take it till it has just passed 
the wicket ; he should then seize and sweep the ball into the 
stumps in one and the same action. Should he stand behind 
and take the ball before it reaches the wicket, there is great" 
danger of his disarranging the bails before he gets the ball in his 
hands. Of course there are exceptions to this rule — e.g. when 
a ball is coming very slowly up to the wicket from a feeble 
throw or because the ground is sticky and dead ; then the 
bowler must do his best anyhow to get the ball into the stumps 
before the batsman reaches the crease. 

A bowler should never throw the ball at the wicket unless 
it is the only possible chance of running the batsman out. 
There is always a chance of the ball slipping out of his hand 
and missing its aim. 

A bowler should take plenty of time between each ball he 
delivers. If he hurries he will get flurried and out of breath 
and bowl badly. 


It is a mistake for a bowler to appeal unless he has a 
good chance of getting a favourable decision. Umpires are 
very peculiar individuals ; once let it enter their heads that a 
bowler is trying to 'jockey ' a decision out of them, up go their 
backs, and they suddenly become a mechaninal toy that glibly 
answers every appeal with the two words ' Not out,' and those 
only. A bowler is quite justified in appealing for a leg before 
wicket even if he is himself doubtful and uncertain as to 
whether the ball pitched quite straight or would have quite hit 
the wicket, since he is exceedingly likely not to form a correct 
impression of its straightness from the fact of his being at the 
moment of the pitch of the ball a little out of the straight line 
between the wickets. 

Bowlers should always take care before a match that they 
are shod with good stout shoes with plenty of nails in them. 
It is a most important thing for a bowler to have shoes which 
will prevent him from slipping, and this is somewhat difficult 
when grounds are so constantly changing from hard to soft. 
For a hard ground nothing is better than big nails or screws ; 
these do not go into the ground, but grip it and give a firm 
foothold. The left shoe of a right-hand bowler and the right 
shoe of a left-hand one should be extra well supplied with nails, 
because in the act of bowling the whole weight of the body 
comes down upon the left foot with the right-hand bowler and 
the right with a left-hand one. 

For a soft ground the old-fashioned spikes are the best. 
They can be put in and taken out in a few minutes before the 
beginning of a match, according to the state of the ground. 
Every bowler should carry spikes, nails, and screws, a screw- 
driver and gimlet, in his cricket- bag. 

A bowler should do all in his power to prevent cutting up 
the wicket with his feet in a place where bowling from the other 
end may pitch. If he finds that he is doing so with either foot 
he should at once change sides of the wicket, and if he then 
finds that, do what he will, he cannot help damaging the wicket 
— which is a most unlikely event — he should at once desist from 

BOWLING. 1 85 

bowling. If the ground is unduly cut up and made artificially 
difficult for the batsman by bowlers' feet, whether it is done 
intentionally or not, such bowling is unfair and should at once 
be stopped. Spofforth in some states of the ground used to 
spoil it terribly, and this although he wore no spikes on the 
offending foot. The side of this foot, however, came down 
with great force a few yards in front of his own wicket. No 
doubt great damage at times was caused to the opposing bats- 
men by this unfortunate foot, and also to the Australian batsmen 
themselves, and on one occasion an appeal was made to the 
umpire as to whether, though caused unintentionally, it was or 
was not unfair. The umpire declined to give an opinion. 
But there can be little doubt that a bowler who has unfortu- 
nately developed this tendency is transgressing the rules of fair 

A chapter on bowling would not be complete without 
the addition of some rules for the guidance of those who are 
beginning to play cricket and who want to learn how to bowl. 
Success depends so much upon the natural action of the 
bowler that the multiplicity of rules so often laid down for the 
guidance of young bowlers, though followed out to the letter, 
does not greatly profit the aspirant to bowling honours. There 
are many straight accurate bowlers who can put as much twist 
as most men on the ball, and who yet never attain to any 
eminence in the art. This is due to their action being simple 
and easy to see, and to their consequent inability to deceive 
the batsman as to the pace and flight of the ball. There are, 
however, one or two simple elementary rules which it would 
be always as well for young bowlers to follow. 

First. — Take every opportunity of bowling at imitation 
cricket with a racquet or fives ball, or any other sort of ball. 
This teaches you by practical experience the difference in the 
spins of the ball and what constitutes a good ball. Small 
cricket with a fives ball and a fives bat is splendid fun, and has 
initiated many a youngster into the mysteries of break- backs 
and breaks from leg. 

1 86 CRICKET. 

Secondly. — Keep your arm as high as possible. 

Thirdly.— If naturally inclined to be a fast bowler, aim at 
straightness first of all, and take care to bowl well within your 

Fourthly. — Always bowl in the same style and action. Bowl 
every day in practice, but not for more than half an hour. And 
take a rest of a minute or so after every six balls ; remember in a 
match you have a rest after every four or five. Bowl carefully 
in practice. If you get tired leave off at once. If you find 
your bowling is getting worse instead of better, leave off for a 
few days and have a complete rest. 

Fifthly. — Take a good long run, whether you bowl slow or 
fast ; and if you can, run on a little after delivering the ball. 
This gives extra ' fire ' to the ball. 

Sixthly. — Be sure to practise bowling both sides of the 

Seventhly. — If you want to become a really good bowler 
accustom your fingers early to get as much twist as possible on 
the ball, both ways. 




(By A. G. Steel.) 

is a strange tact con- 
nected with cricket 
that a good captain 
is but seldom met 
with. The game has 
made such progress 
in popularity during 
the last thirty years, 
and the numbers of 
those who are pro- 
ficient in its different 
branches have in- 
creased so enorm- 
ously, that we should 
certainly expect to 
find in our county 
and other important 
matches captains who 
thoroughly under- 
stand the duties they 
are called upon to 
fulfil. But on look- 
ing round we are 
-••** disappointed to find 

that the really good captains in first-class (including of course 
county) cricket are extremely few, and these few are amateurs. 

1 88 CRICKET. 

The cause of this may be that few men are able to take part in 
first-class cricket after they have served such an apprenticeship 
as would give them the experience, calmness, and judgment 
necessary for the difficult post of captain ; or it may be that 
the qualifications for a good leader in the cricket-field are, 
from their very nature, seldom met with — in other words, 
that a captain is born not made, and very seldom born, too. 
Few professional cricketers (it is a well-known fact) make 
good captains ; we have hardly ever seen a match played, 
where a professional cricketer was captain of either side, in 
which he was not guilty of some very palpable blunders. 
Take the Gentlemen v. Players matches, at Lord's and the 
Oval, for the last twenty years ; the Players have always 
been seriously handicapped by the want of a good captain, 
though Shrewsbury and Gunn may be exceptions. Bowlers 
are kept on maiden after maiden without the faintest chance 
of a wicket, no originality of attack is ever attempted, and 
altogether the captaincy is usually bad. It must, however, be 
admitted that 'professional' captains are in a more difficult 
position than amateurs, inasmuch as they are often exposed to 
the but thinly concealed murmurings of their fellows, who 
consider that they have not been treated with the amount of 
consideration they deserve. Amateurs always have made, and 
always will make, the best captains ; and this is only natural. 
An educated mind, with a logical power of reasoning, will 
always treat every subject better than one comparatively un- 
taught. There are exceptions to every rule, and Alfred Shaw, 
the best professional captain we ever came across, is the ex- 
ception here. The disastrous effects of bad captaincy on the 
success of a side were never more clearly manifested than by 
the Australian team that visited England in 1878. This team 
contained several good bowlers who, helped by the sticky state 
of the ground, were very deadly to our best batsmen. Their 
batting was rough and rather untutored, but still at times 
dangerous. They met with great success until the grounds got 
hard and firm, when their bowlers were collared. It is in ad- 


versity at cricket, as in the more serious walks of life, that the 
best qualities come to the fore ; and whenever the Australian 
bowlers were collared, the whole team seemed to go to 
pieces. Either the captain or the bowlers placed the fielders 
in the most extraordinary and unheard-of positions, where 
they had but little chance of saving runs or getting catches. 
SpofTorth during one match at Lord's in that season bowled 
the greater part of the day to a batsman — the Hon. Edward 
Lyttelton — who was not dismissed till he had topped his 
hundred. Ball after ball was neatly cut on the hard true ground 
to the boundary, past the spot where third man ought to have 
been but was not. Fancy a fast bowler bowling on a hard 
ground, while a batsman made a hundred without a third 
man ; then think that this batsman was one of the finest 
amateur cutters of his day, and you will wonder what had 
become of the management of the side ! This was, however, 
the first year the Australians visited us ; on many subsequent 
occasions we found out to our cost that they had made good 
use of their time and experience in England, and had im- 
proved, in every branch of the game, to what was to an 
Englishman's eye an alarming extent. Their captaincy, how- 
ever, has never been good, till Trott, a thoroughly good cap- 
tain, took command in 1896 j Murdoch, of course, had a 
thoroughly sound knowledge of the game ; but his better 
judgment was too frequently hampered by the ceaseless 
chattering and advice of one or two men who never could 
grasp the fact that in the cricket-field there can only be one 

The chief qualifications for a good captain are a sound 
knowledge of the game, a calm judgment, and the ability to 
inspire others with confidence. 

Bad captains may be split up into three classes : — 

1. Nervous and excitable men. 

2. Dull apathetic men. 

3. Bowling captains, with an aversion to seeing anybody 
bowl but themselves. 

i 9 o CRICKET. 

i. The nervous and excitable class is perhaps the worst of 
all, and sides which have the misfortune to be led by one 
of this division are indeed heavily handicapped. The chief 
peculiarity of a captain of this sort is that he seems never to be 
able to keep still for a moment in the field. He is continually 
rushing about, altering the field every over without any reason, 
shouting excitedly at the top of his voice whenever a fielder 
has to stop or throw up the ball, and generally creating a feel- 
ing of uneasiness and excitement among players and spectators. 
He is at one moment tearing his hair distractedly because some 
unfortunate fielder has let a ball through his legs, and the next 
shouting and dancing with excitement and joy when some 
exceptionally good catch or bit of fielding has got rid of a 
dangerous batsman. 

2. A member of the second class may be easily recognised. 
He walks slowly to his place at the end of each over with his 
eyes fixed on the ground, as if in deep thought. In reality he 
is thinking of nothing, or, at any rate, nothing connected with 
the game. He has put his two best bowlers on, and so long 
as a wicket falls every thirty or forty runs, what does it matter 
whether or not time is being wasted by a series of profitless 
short-pitched maiden overs ? It is the bowler's duty, not his, 
to get the batsmen out, and if the latter put on forty runs with- 
out a wicket falling, why it will be time enough then to try 
someone else, and perhaps later on he himself might have a 
turn with lobs if things get into a very bad state. It does not 
take long, with a captain like this, for a side to get thoroughly 
demoralised and slack. 

3. The bowling captains suffer from the very opposite of the 
feebleness which affects the last class ; over-keenness is their 
bane. They are generally moderate bowlers, who at times enjoy 
a fair amount of success, and who are often very valuable to 
their side as changes. But the power of bowling wherever and 
for as long as they please is too much for them. Over after over 
hit to all parts of the field, without the slightest suspicion of a 


chance of a wicket, only convinces the self-confident captain 
that something must happen sooner or later — and something 
generally does after the match has been bowled away. The 
fascination that bowling has for captains and the danger it often 
leads to is a good reason for pausing before selecting as 
captain anyone who has any pretensions in this branch of 
the game. It is sometimes, however, impossible for a side 
to recognise anyone as captain except a bowler. He may 
be the oldest and most experienced member of the team, 
or perhaps from his position as a cricketer it may be out of 
the question to pass him over, and then, of course, the best 
of a bad job must be made. But a captain who is also a 
bowler has much heavier responsibilities in the field than 
one who is not. Even if he happens not to be over-anxious 
about trundling all day himself, he is apt from shyness and 
diffidence of his own merits not to put himself on at all — 
another extreme into which some captains before now have 

The duties of a captain are of two kinds : those out of the 
field and those in it, and it is proposed ro discuss them in 
the order named. The first duty of a captain is the choice 
of his team ; but as it so frequently happens, nowadays, that 
the team is chosen for him by the committee of his county 
or his club, this topic may be passed over till we discuss 
the duties of the captains at the Universities and Public 

When the team is chosen, the captain's first duty is to win 
the t'oss ; and assuming that by the aid of his lucky sixpence 
he has succeeded in so doing, he should at once decide whether 
he or his opponent is to begin the batting. It is a very old 
saying that the side that wins the toss should go in, and it is a 
very true one. No captain who wins the toss and puts the 
other side in deserves to win the match, unless there are 
some very exceptional circumstances to be taken into his con- 
sideration. There is, perhaps, only one reason to justify a 

1 92 CRICKET. 

captain putting the other side in first. If the ground, previously 
hard) has been softened by a night's rain, and if at the time 
of beginning it is drying under a hot baking sun, and if the 
captain is tolerably sure that it is going to be a fine day, then 
he will do well to put the other side in. There must be present 
these three conditions of ground and weather before he is jus- 
tified in refusing to bat. The ground will then for the first 
hour and a half or two hours make a bowling wicket ; the top soft 
in the early morning, and gradually getting caked under the 
hot sun, will in the afternoon, if the weather keeps fine and it 
has been hard before the rain, assume its former hardness and 
become easy for batting for the last few hours of the day's play. 
If the ground has been soft before the rain and has been made 
still softer by the rain, it is madness to put the other side in. 
The first two or three hours will then be easy for batting, as a 
very slow soft wicket is always against the bowlers, and it will 
not be till after several hours of hot sun have been on it that it 
will begin to get caked and difficult for the batsman. Suppose 
the weather looks uncertain and broken, and the glass has been 
gradually going down, a captain should never in any state of 
the ground risk putting his opponents in. Rain is always in 
favour of the in side ; bowlers cannot stand and cannot hold 
the ball, which, wet and slippery, cannot be made to take any 
twist or screw that the bowler may try to give it. 

Sometimes in a one-day match it may be advisable to put 
the other side in under circumstances different from the above, 
circumstances which are for the captain alone to judge of, and 
which it is impossible to discuss. Suppose a very strong side 
is playing against a very much weaker one. It may be that the 
captain of the former is afraid that if his side once goes to the 
wickets, so many runs will be made as to preclude all probability 
of finishing the match ; and he may be content after confer- 
ence with the members of his team to take the undoubted risk 
of putting the other side in ; it is, however, a very dangerous 
thing to do at any time, and his finesse may very possibly 


end disastrously to his side in the imperfect light of the 

There are, however, some disadvantages in batting first. 
In the first place, nearly every cricketer is a better man after 
luncheon than before. Do not let this be understood for a 
moment as a hint that the overnight carousals of cricketers 
(very pleasant though they be) are such as to interfere with 
correctness of eye and steadiness of hand in the morning. 
Far be it from me to suggest such a thing. But every man 
is fitter in the afternoon, his eye is more accustomed to the light, 
and his digestion is better. And besides, the men that walk 
to the wickets to bat the first time they go into the field are 
apt to be more nervous than those who have been playing a 
few hours and have got accustomed to the light and general 
surroundings. These are disadvantages certainly, but they are as 
nothing compared to the advantages gained by batting first. 
These include getting the best of the light, the best of the 
wicket, and, last but not least, the incalculable advantage of 
having in the last innings of the match to save and not get 
runs on a wicket that has previously stood the wear and tear 
of three innings. The side that bats second is nearly always 
in at the close of the first day's play, and the lights and shadows 
between six and seven often make the ball very difficult to 
judge accurately ; at Lord's, especially, the light gets bad to- 
wards the close of the day ; a haze overspreads the ground, 
making clear and accurate sight extremely difficult. As for 
the respective difficulties of making and saving runs, a cricketer 
need only look at his scores and references to see how often 
the out side at the close of a match has prevented the in side 
from getting the runs required. The feeling of responsibility 
which affects the batsmen on these occasions creates an over- 
anxiety to play steadily and run no risks, and often results in 
feeble play. Then the bowlers and fielders are nerved to their 
utmost endeavour to keep the runs down, every fielder runs after 
the ball at the very top of his speed, half-a-dozen men are 


i 9 4 CRICKET. 

backing up to prevent an overthrow, and the bowler not only 
does all he knows to secure a wicket, but strives hard to avoid 
the delivery of a punishable ball. Whenever a side goes in for 
the last innings of the match against a big score and wins, 
one may feel sure the match has been won by sound and 
sterling cricket. There are many well-known instances of 
the fielding side pulling the match out of the fire at the 
very last moment. In the Oxford and Cambridge match in 
1875, Cambridge in their last innings wanted 175 runs to 
win. Seven wickets fell for 114. The eighth went down 
at 161. Before this wicket fell it looked any odds on Cam- 
bridge, but the eleven were eventually all out for 168, and 
lost the match by six runs. In England v. Australia at the 
Oval in 1882, England, the last innings, wanted 85 to win, 
but only made 77. The annals of cricket are full of in- 
stances showing that it is better at the end of a match to have 
to save runs than make them. We remember playing in a 
match some years ago in Scotland, where the folly of putting in 
the other side first on a good wicket was clearly shown. It was 
a two days' match, and the two best batsmen on the side which 
lost the toss had been travelling all night from England. This, 
in spite of a good wicket, induced the captain who had been 
successful in the toss to put the other side in. One of these 
travel-worn and weary batsmen knocked up over ninety runs, 
the ground began to cut up, and the side that had refused to 
bat first came utterly to grief. As the losing captain, left the 
ground, he said, ' One thing this match has taught me — never 
to put the other side in first.' The following year the same 
match was arranged, and once more the toss was won by the 
same captain. The ground was very soft indeed, in fact sodden 
with days of heavy rain. Again, in spite of the former sad ex- 
perience, the other side were put in first and made over 200 
runs. The ground was too soft for bowlers to put any life into 
the ball, and all bowling was comparatively easy. Next day the 
ground had got firmer and more solid, and the side that won 
the toss was again dismissed for two insignificant totals. 


With regard to the order in which a captain should send in 
his men, a good deal depends on the strength of the batting he 
has at command. With a weakish batting team it is, in our 
opinion, always better to send in the best batsman first, assuming 
of course he has no objection to the place. It is of great im- 
portance to give the best batsman every possible advantage, and 
the men who go first to the wickets have a great advantage over 
the others. They have less waiting for their innings, and con- 
sequently less of that restless nervousness from which few men 
are free ; they have the best of the wicket ; they have often 
loosish bowling just at first, before the bowlers have warmed to 
their work ; and, last but certainly not least, they are batting 
a new ball. Few people realise what a difference a new ball 
makes to the batsman ; it goes cleaner and firmer off the bat 
than an old one, and, what is better than all, a hard new ball is 
much more difficult to twist than one that has had a hundred 
runs made off it. Let anyone look at an old bowler who has to 
begin the bowling : his first action is to rub the ball on the 
ground in the hope of taking off even a little of its slippery 
newness ; it is not, however, till after its surface has been con- 
siderably worn that it begins to take much notice of any twist, 
at any rate on a hard ground. 

With such advantages to be gained by going in first it would 
be a pity not to give the best batsman the chance of making a 
good start for his side. A good start gives confidence to the 
shaky batsman, and shows the bowlers that they are not to have 
it all their own way. Sometimes the best batsman on a side 
does not care about going in first ; if so, it is always well to con 
suit his wishes and humour him, but he should never go in later 
than second wicket. With the best batsman should go some 
steady correct bat, one who plays the game thoroughly and 
does not take liberties with the bowling. In these days of 
perfect grounds it is a vast mistake to send in first a regular 
1 sticker,' one who scores at the rate of eight or ten an hour. 
The stonewallers of our cricket-fields have a great deal to 
answer for in the heavy indictment against modern players 

i 9 6 CRICKET. 

of leaving so many unfinished matches. An account was 
lately given in the papers of a man recognised as a first- 
class county bat who was in on a fast hard wicket in the 
first innings of a match three hours and forty minutes for 
thirty-two runs. More shame to him 1 He did his best to 
draw the match, and by puddling about for so long only helped 
to wear out the ground for more capable scorers who were to 
follow him. Sometimes, when the ground is very bad, it is 
good to have a sticker, but taken altogether cricket would be 
very much better off if the whole race of stickers occasionally 
adopted a somewhat freer style. Nobody objects to slow 
scoring so long as the batsmen are playing good correct cricket, 
playing the straight ones with a straight bat and cutting or 
hitting the crooked ones; but every cricketer objects to seeing 
ball after ball simply stopped without the slightest attempt to 
make a run. 

Two very fast run-getting batsmen should not be sent in 
together ; they are apt to run each other a bit off their legs. 
W. G. Grace and A. P. Lucas were as good a pair for first that 
have ever been seen ; both played sound correct cricket : the 
former scored freely, the latter when the ground was hard quite 
fast enough ; and Shrewsbury and Stoddart were about as good. 

After the first two have been selected the others must 
follow generally in order of merit ; it is as well not to put in 
two hard-hitters together if possible, as it often tends to 
make one hit against the other. First one makes a big hit , 
the other feels bound to follow suit, quite irrespective of the 
pitch of the ball, and loses his wicket. It is always an excel- 
lent thing to have one or two real good hitters, but they should 
be kept apart as far as possible in their innings ; sixth or 
seventh wicket down is a very useful place for a hard hitter ; 
the bowling has often begun to get a trifle loose by that time, 
and good hitting may make a dreadful mess of it in a very 
short time. 

If any of the bowlers on whom the captain relies for his 
main attack happen to be goodish batsmen and likely to make 
a few runs, it is just as well to let their innings come off as early 


as convenient. A bowler who makes forty or fifty runs at the 
close of an innings never bowls as well after the running about 
as he would do had he made nothing, and it is consequently 
best if possible to insure him a rest before he begins his 
more important duties as bowler. It is exceptional to find 
a man successful in batting and bowling in the same match. 
There are a good number of modern cricketers who are 
very fair all-round men, and shine at times in both branches of 
the game ; but it very rarely happens that success awaits them 
in both in the same match. Sometimes we find a well-known 
bowler piling up heaps of runs, but on looking at the other side 
of the score-sheet we generally perceive that he has done it at the 
expense of his wickets. Alfred Shaw, the famous Nottingham 
bowler, used at times to bat with great success, but when he 
did so he was nearly always unsuccessful with the ball. 

When once the captain has arranged the order in which 
his men are to bat he should stick to it. It is worrying and 
harassing to the batsmen to be continually shifted up and down. 
We once saw one of the best batsmen in England put in last 
but one because the captain thought he looked nervous. His 
side was beaten by a few runs, and without his having received 
one single ball. An order made out before the innings begins 
is more likely to be correct than one hashed and cut about 
amidst excitement and anxiety. Never should a captain change 
his order in the second innings ; of course a man who is in 
particularly good form may be given a hoist up a place or so, 
but the bad bats of the team should not be sent in first so 
long as there is the remotest possibility of losing ; and at cricket 
this contingency is nearly always on the cards. The good 
batsmen do not wish to go in if there is only an hour or an 
hour and a half to play ; they may get out and cannot make 
a really big score, so they fight shy for their average's sake. 
Captains should put a stop to this and insist on their taking 
their proper place ; first, because the side may otherwise be 
beaten, and secondly, because those who have the advantage 
of going in first in favourable circumstances should also take 
their turn when things are not so bright. 

19.8 CRICKET. 

After a captain has written out his order of going in, he 
should carefully watch the innings from the first to the very last 
ball. A watchful captain can at times greatly help his side ; a 
shout of ' steady ' when a young batsman appears to be getting 
rash in his play, or when two players are getting a little abroad 
as to running, often comes with great effect and authority from 
a captain, and may prevent such a catastrophe as that repre- 
sented in the illustration opposite. A word of encouragement 
to a nervous player as he leaves the pavilion may also often 
be of service. On no account should a captain ever abuse a 
batsman, no matter what rash stroke or foolish lack of judg- 
ment has cost him his wicket. Nothing is so galling to a 
batsman when he has made a bad stroke or been guilty of a 
mistake as being publicly derided or reproved. Afterwards, 
when the keen sense of vexation has somewhat subsided, a 
quiet word of advice may be given, and will have much 
more effect than a noisy public remonstrance. A good 
cricketer who has made a bad stroke and thereby lost his 
wicket knows better than any spectator what a mistake he 
has committed. Pavilion worthies, ye who love cricket for 
its own sake, ye who sit for hours criticising every ball and 
every stroke, forbear, we pray you, out-spoken remarks on the 
arrival of a discomfited batsman. 'What on earth possessed 
you to try to hit a straight one to leg ? ' * You never seemed 
at home the whole time ! ' ' You can't keep that leg of yours 
out of the way ! ' are all remarks that may be withheld at any 
rate till the keen sense of failure has diminished. 

It may possibly happen that during the course of an innings 
a point which during the summer of 1887 was considerably dis- 
cussed, and about which some very extraordinary remarks have 
been made, may crop up for decision by the captain. Supposing 
he considers that his side has made enough runs to win the 
match, and that if any more are made there will not be sufficient 
time to get the other side out. Is he justified or not in giving 
orders to his men to get out on purpose ? A great controversy 
arose on this point about ten years ago, owing to the captain 


of one of our leading counties considering that he was entitled 
to give such orders. If this question be looked at from a 
cricketer's point of view — and by that is meant from one which 
is in every way honourable and to the furtherance of the true 
interests of the game — it will be seen at once that a captain has 
a perfect right to ask his men to get out whenever he considers 
enough runs have been made to insure victory. 

The true principle of the game is, we take it, that every side 
should do its utmost honourably to win the match. In days 
gone by, when grounds were rough and uneven, every match 
had to be completed in a much shorter time than is now allowed. 
In these times of improved batting and perfection in grounds, 
three whole days have been decided on as the time within which 
every county or club must win, lose, or draw the match. The 
game is not to lose or to draw ; it is to win ; and the side that 
can win most matches in the time allowed is plainly the best 
side. And should a side make so many runs as to render it im- 
possible to win if they make more, whereas if they get out they 
must almost inevitably win, and can scarcely lose, we consider it 
would not be acting up to the true principle of the game if it 
did not get out. Besides, what sport or individual interest to 
a batsman is there in making runs after the match is practically 
finished ? A man does not play at cricket for himself so much 
as for his side ; it is not the number of individual notches or 
wickets that falls to his lot which delights the true cricketer : it 
is the actual result of 'won or lost.' What pleasure does a 
member of either of the University elevens derive from making 
fifty every innings he plays in the Inter-University matches if 
all his matches are lost ? There are some who say that directly 
the principle is recognised that a man has a right to get out 
on purpose in order to gain victory for his side, it will open the 
door to all sorts of shady tricks in the game, and there wiil be 
no guarantee to the cricket-loving public that a side is trying. 
We cannot see the relevancy of this argument; if a man sacri- 
fices himself for his side, the more honour is due to him. It is 
suggested that if the batting side has a right to get out or to 


forego its right of batting, the fielding side has a right to drop 
catches purposely and to bowl no balls and wides so as to avoid 
being beaten. If this latter course were permitted, it would be 
in direct contradiction to the true principle of the game — viz. 
the endeavour to win ; it would be a dishonest subterfuge to 
prevent victory from rewarding the side that had played the best ; 
it would be an un-English, dog-in-the-manger policy, and, in our 
opinion, it would entitle the umpires to say that the game was 
not being played fairly. There is a vast difference in principle 
between getting out on purpose in order to win and bowling 
and fielding badly in order to snatch victory from the best side. 
A captain is, then, not only perfectly justified, but is bound in 
the interests of his side, and in the true interests of the game, 
to order his men to get out if that is the only way to win. 

[In 1894 the M.C.C. passed a law to the effect that the side 
which goes in second shall follow their innings if they have 
scored 120 runs less (not 80 as formerly) than the opposite 
side in a three days match, or 80 runs in a two days match, and 
power was also given for the in-side on the last day of a match 
to declare the innings at an end. This last most important 
rule was passed partly in order to prevent drawn matches, and 
partly to prevent cricket lapsing into burlesque, as it has on 
several occasions. But still the true principle alluded to in the 
beginning of the preceding paragraph is difficult to find, and 
the awkward question still remains, as it is within the right of 
a captain to order his men to get out that he may follow on, 
is it not within the opposing captain's right to order his 
bowlers to bowl wides to prevent the follow on ? The motive 
is the same in each case : one captain desires to follow on 
because he thinks that by following on he has a better chance 
of winning the match ; the other captain is of the same opinion ; 
is it wrong, therefore, for him to try and defeat that object by 
bowling wides ? I am not able to say that it is. One captain 
to make his side follow on orders his batsmen to play skittles ; 
the other captain to prevent a follow on orders his bowlers to 
play skittles. Where is the difference in principle? There is a 


difference of another kind, which is, that it is easier for a batsman 
to get out on purpose without making it appear to be a burlesque 
than it is for a bowler to bowl wides or no balls on purpose. 
A batsman may run himself out or put his leg in front, and 
nobody wonders ; but if a steady bowler bowls three wides 
running, the most ignorant spectator sees through the game 
at once, and yells accordingly. The problem may be stated 
in another way. Is it cricket to sacrifice runs by running your- 
self out or knocking down your wicket ? If the answer is in 
the affirmative, then state your reason why it is wrong for a 
bowler to sacrifice runs by bowling wides or no balls. To a 
genuine cricketer it is equally unpleasant to see cricket turned 
into burlesque by the batsmen as by the bowlers ; what is 
difficult to understand is why the batsmen should be allowed 
to practise burlesque and command the applause of the crowd, 
while the bowler is hooted and yelled at. 

The question is a most difficult one to answer, and perhaps 
the most satisfactory solution may be in the direction of 
abolishing the follow on altogether, and giving power to close 
the innings at any time. Every proposal has its drawbacks, 
and the drawback to this is that it gives an additional advan- 
tage to winning the toss ; but it is not easy to see that there 
is any better solution of the question. — R. H. L.] 

In club and county matches a captain whose side is batting 
may often have little duties to perform, such as hurrying his 
men in after the fall of a wicket and allowing no time to be 
wasted, &c. There is nothing so annoying to a keen cricketer 
as to see the field waiting three or four minutes whilst some 
• local swell ' calmly buckles his pads and saunters sleepily to 
the wicket. A captain should see that the next batsman is 
always ready to go in directly the preceding one reaches the 
pavilion j and a good experienced captain can also give many 
valuable hints to the younger members of his team as they sit 
waiting for their innings. ' Play your own game, of course ; ' 
he is the first one to know and realise the truth of the old 
saying ; but (and there are often many buts) ' for goodness sake 


don't try and hit that curly bowler unless you are on the pitch 
of him ; ' ' if you play back to that fast chap you are done; 
he is out and away faster than he looks;' 'watch that man 
at cover : he's as quick as lightning with his return.' All these 
little odds and ends from an old hand are well worth the atten- 
tion of a young player ; they all help to give him more confi- 
dence and more knowledge and experience, and consequently 
make him a better cricketer. And then a captain's eyes must 
be sharp to detect any slovenliness in the dress of a batsman. 
What a sorry sight it is to see a man going to the wickets with 
his pad-straps hanging two or three inches down his legs, 
his trousers unfolded and sticking out from behind his pads, 
his shirtsleeves hanging loose, and altogether having a gene- 
ral air of being a slovenly fellow ! A captain must note this ; 
he knows that there are a good many better ways of getting 
out than being caught from one's pad-straps or loose trousers 
that flap gaily in the breeze, or from one's shirtsleeves that 
float round the forearm with so great an expanse of canvas, 
looking for all the world like a bishop's sleeve. All these little 
things are worth knowing; cricket is a game with a great deal 
of luck in it and full of a great many odd chances, and the 
sooner a young player realises that he must do all he can to 
minimise the chances against himself, the better cricketer he 
will become and the more runs he will make. 

The duties of a captain in the field are far more onerous 
than those out of it. It is here that his good qualities are tested, 
his knowledge and judgment of the game put to the proof. 
The most difficult task he has to perform is the management of 
the bowling. It, of course, occasionally happens that his two 
best bowlers are put on, and bowl successfully without a chance 
during the whole of the innings. But this is a very exceptional 
occurrence, and is but seldom seen in first-class cricket, and 
then only when the ground is sticky or crumbled. It is in the 
bowling changes and placing that a captain's skill is princi- 
pally seen. On a hard fast wicket it is best to begin with fast 
bowling at one end and slow at the other. A good overhand 



fast bowler on a hard wicket has more chance of making 
the ball rise, and getting catches in the slips and at the wickets, 
than a slow one ; but it is always well to have different-paced 
bowling on at either end, as in this way the batsman's eye does 
not get thoroughly accustomed to one pace. The late F. 
Morley — in his day the best left-hand fast bowler in England — 
and A. Shaw were always individually more successful when 
playing together for their county, the fast left hand and slow 
right being an excellent variation for the eye of the batsman. 
Poor Morley, what a good bowler he was ! In our opinion 
he was the best fast bowler we have had in England for a very 
long time. He was a good pace, had a beautifully easy left- 
handed delivery, just over his shoulder, and was most wonder- 
fully accurate in his length. He had a good spin and break- 
back on his bowling, and every now and then sent in one that 
came with the arm and required a lot of playing. His early 
death caused a great gap in the ranks of our professionals, and 
was much lamented by every class of cricketers ; for a more 
honest and unassuming professional player than Fred Morley 
never went into the cricket-field. His knowledge of geography 
was not up to his cricket capabilities ; for after a serious col- 
lision in the Indian Ocean, on his voyage to Australia in 1882, 
a mishap which subsequently ended fatally to him, he said : 
1 No more ships for me : I'll home again by the overland route ! ' 

At the beginning of the innings the two bowlers put on 
should both be asked which end suits them best ; if both want 
the same, the captain should give the choice to the one on whom, 
taking into consideration the state of the ground, he relies most. 
The field should be placed according to the style of the opposing 
batsman, and in doing this the captain should act with the consent 
of the bowler. There are many captains who change the field 
from time to time without ever consulting the bowler, who, if 
a cricketer, knows better than anyone else where his bowling 
is likely to be hit. 

No rule can be laid down with regard to the frequency of 
bowling changes, except the more the better. A bowler should 


never be kept on if he is not getting wickets, and if the batsmen 
are playing him with ease. It goes no way towards winning a 
match to bowl ten or a dozen short-pitched consecutive maiden 
overs. Directly the batsmen seem to have guessed the length 
and style of bowling it should be changed, if only for a few overs, 
while some new style is tried for a short time. If a long stand 
be made, every style of bowling should be quickly tried ; thirty 
runs should never be allowed without a change of some sort, 
unless the bowling happens to be particularly puzzling to the 
batsman, and is being badly played. 

As regards the placing of the field, it has already been 
said that usually the bowler is best able to guess where his 
own bowling is most likely to be hit ; but there are many 
things which a captain should recollect, as the suggestions of 
a captain in whom his bowlers place confidence are always 
accepted readily. He should keep his eye on short-slip, as 
this place is, especially on a fast wicket, the most important 
of all. There are more good batsmen dismissed at short-slip 
and the wicket, on good wickets, than at any other places. It 
is an extraordinary fact connected with short-slip that, unless he 
has had a great deal of experience, he is continually shifting his 
position j one over he will be standing fine and deep and the 
next square and near to the wicket. It is the captain's duty, 
even more than the bowler's, to see that this does not happen. 

On a true hard wicket we never like to see a captain putting 
his mid-on or short-leg close in to the batsman, to field what is 
called c silly ' mid-on ; the risk of standing near in on a hard 
wicket to a batsman who can hit at all is not by any means 
slight, and we have on several occasions seen men placed in 
this position get very nasty blows. Boyle, the Australian mid- 
on, stood about as near in as any man ever did stand; on sticky 
grounds he made many catches, on fast grounds he missed many 
which if standing further back he would have caught. He not 
seldom received nasty injuries, and on cne occasion was laid up 
for several weeks with a broken or injured bone in his hand. A 
quick active field at mid-on who will run in when he sees the 


batsman making a quiet forward stroke on the leg side, and 
when he observes a leg-side ball kick up higher than usual, is 
all that should be required. In a match at Melbourne, in 1882, 
we recollect a very amusing little incident in which mid-on 
played a prominent part. The Australians were batting, and 
Bates, the Yorkshireman, had just dismissed two of their best 
bats, McDonnell and Giffen, in two consecutive balls. Bonnor, 
who used to congratulate himself, and not without a certain 
amount of justification, that he could make mincemeat of our 
slow bowling, was the next man in. Somebody suggested that, in 
the faint hope of securing a ' hat ' for Bates, we should try a 
silly mid-on. Bates faithfully promised to bowl a fast shortish 
ball between the legs and the wicket, and said he was quite 
certain Bonnor would play slowly forward to it. Acting on the 
faith of this, W. W. Read boldly volunteered to stand silly 
mid-on for one ball. In came the giant, loud were the shouts 
of welcome from the larrikins' throats ; now would the ball soar 
over the green trees even higher than yonder flock of twittering 
parrots. As Bates began to walk to the wickets to bowl, nearer 
and nearer crept our brave mid-on ; a slow forward stroke to a 
fast shortish leg-stump ball landed the ball fairly in his hands 
not more than six feet from the bat. The crowd would not 
believe it, and Bonnor was simply thunderstruck at mid-on's 
impertinence ; but Bates had done the hat trick for all that, and 
what is more, he got a very smart silver tall hat for his pains. 

The duties of captains of the University teams and of the 
Public Schools are far more arduous than those of a captain 
of a county or a club eleven. At our large Public Schools 
the captain is responsible for the selection of the team ; he 
may be assisted to a certain extent by a committee, but the 
actual filling up of the vacant places in his eleven generally de- 
volves on him alone. An energetic and keen boy captain will 
usually manage before the close of the summer term to get 
together a team of fair merit ; even if the stuff he has to work 
upon is inferior in quality, the great amount of time at his 
disposal for practice, and the assistance he receives from the 



school professionals and 
masters, ought always to 
ensure a keen captain 
having a tolerable eleven 
before the summer holi- 
days begin. It may be 
taken as true that a bad 
fielding school eleven de- 
notes a bad and slack 
captain. Whatever may 
Eton v. Harrow. be the batting and bowl- 

ing material at his dis- 
posal, a boy captain can, if he likes, have a good fielding side ; 
and if in his school matches at Lord's, or elsewhere, he finds 
that he loses the match by slack fielding, he has none to blame 
but himself. None of our best county teams can field as boys 
can if they are properly taught and kept up to the mark. 
There are few men of thirty taking part in the game who can 
throw with any effect for more than about thirty or forty yards ; 
their arms and shoulders are stiff, and will not stand it, whereas 
boys can all throw, and are about twice as active as many of 
those whose names at the present time figure prominently in 
our leading fixtures. 



A school eleven, as indeed every other, only requires four 
regular bowlers. ' If you cannot win with four bowlers, you'll 
never win at all/ is an old and true saying. But this wants a little 
explanation. The four best available bowlers must be played 
without regard to their batting powers, and after these four have 
been selected let the team be filled up with good batsmen and 
fielders, quite irrespective of whether they can bowl or not. 
It is an excellent thing for a side that every man should be 
able to bowl a bit if wanted, and every boy should be able to 
do so, but it is only necessary in choosing the team to play four 
men as bowlers only. 

Every school eleven should possess a lob -bowler ; if he be 
a good one so much the better, but one of some sort there must 
be. Lobs have always been most destructive to boys, and even 
very indifferent lobs are occasionally very fatal to schools. A 
little practice will teach any boy to bowl them fairly ; he must 
take a long and rather a quick run, and bowl just fast enough 
to prevent the batsman hitting the good-length balls before they 
pitch. The high slow lob is generally worthless. 

The wicket-keeper must also be trained and coached. He 
should be taught the right and the wrong way to stand, and 
should practise keeping for a short time every day. And, above 
all things, the school wicket-keeper should know that for any- 
thing over slow and slow medium bowling he is to have a long- 
stop. The number of good wicket-keepers who have been spoilt 
by having to perform the office of long-stop as well as their own 
is legion. There are no first-class keepers nowadays who put 
out their hands on the leg side and draw the ball to the stumps; 
they all jump to the leg side in front of the ball to prevent it 
resulting in a four-bye, and consequently, even if lucky enough 
to take the ball with their hands, they are so far from the stumps 
as to make it exceedingly difficult to knock the bails off. 

A captain of a University team has not so much to do with 
training and coaching his team as a school captain. By the 
time men have reached their University eleven they have gene- 
rally mastered the elementary principles of the game, and require 


more practice and experience, keeping up to the mark rather 
than coaching. A captain's duty is consequently to see that his 
men engage in constant practice at all parts of the game, and 
by showing an example of keenness and energy to inspire his 
team with the same qualities. Some men at the University, and 
especially those fresh from the restraint of a public school, 
occasionally require a few words of advice about the mode 
of iife which is necessary for undergoing with success the wear 
and tear of a University cricket season. A 'Varsity team has 
about six weeks' hard work, and no man can bear the strain of 
this if, at the same time, he is keeping late hours and distri- 
buting his attentions impartially amongst all the numerous deli- 
cacies that adorn the University dinner-tables during the May 
term. No strict training is required, thank goodness ! Cricket 
does not demand of her votaries the hollow face and attenuated 
frame, and too often the undermined constitution, that a long 
term of arduous training occasionally results in, especially 
to a youth of unmatured strength ; but a cricketer should live 
a regular life and abstain at table from all things likely to 
interfere with his digestion and wind. Above all else, smoky 
rooms should be avoided. A small room, filled with ten or a 
dozen men smoking as if their very existence depended on the 
amount of tobacco consumed, soon gets a trifle foggy, and the 
man who remains there for long will find next morning on 
waking that his head feels much heavier than usual, and his eyes 
are reddish and sore. A University captain should never hesi- 
tate to speak to any of his team on these matters, should he 
think warning or rebuke necessary. 

The necessity of moderation in drink is happily a thing 
which few University cricketers require to be reminded of. 
There are many opinions as to what is the best drink for men 
when actually playing. By best we mean that which does 
least harm to the eye. In hot weather something must be 
drunk, and the question is, What? Our experience is that 
beer and stout are both too heady and heavy, gin and ginger 
beer is too sticky, sweet, &c, to the palate. In our opinion, 


shandy-gaff, sherry, or claret, and soda are the most thirst- 
quenching, the lightest, and the cleanest to the palate. The 
latter consideration is a great one on a hot day at cricket. In a 
long innings the heat and the dust are apt to make the mouth 
very dry and parched, and a clean drink is especially desirable. 

As a rule a 'Varsity captain has not much difficulty in select- 
ing the first eight or nine of his team — there are usually that 
number that stand out as far and away better than all the others 
— but the last two or three places often cause him the greatest 
difficulty. There may be two or three men of the same merit 
fighting for the last place, inflicting sleepless nights and anxious 
thoughts on the captain. He cannot make up his mind, and 
possibly remains undecided till the very week before the big 
match. A 'Varsity team owes half its strength to playing so 
much together. Every man knows and has confidence in the 
others, and every man's full merits and the use he may be to 
the side are understood by the captain ; consequently, the 
sooner the whole team is chosen the better. 

Now let us briefly discuss the considerations that should 
guide the captain in the choice of his team. And perhaps 
the simplest and best way will be to assume that a captain has 
to choose the best team in England (our fictitious captain 
making the twelfth man on the side). The first thing he 
must do is to choose his bowlers, and, as we have said above, 
these must be the best four he can get, each one different 
from the others in style. He wants a fast bowler to begin 
with (and if the match is to be played on a hard wicket he will 
probably want two). He has Mold and Lockwood to choose 
from, undoubtedly the two best. If he wants one only, he 
must be guided by present form ; whichever is bowling the 
best must be selected. Let us say he has selected Mold. 
This is No. i. No. 2 must be a good left-hand bowler. Peel 
and Briggs are perhaps the only two at the present time who 
have good qualifications, and we think our captain would pro- 
bably fix on Peel as being the best bowler of the two. No. 3 
— a medium-pace to fast round-arm bowler — is next wanted. 



Lohmann would be the very man, but since ill-health at the 
present date prevents his appearance on the field, let our 
captain bring into his team as No. 3 Lockwood. Surely he 
or Mold, if not both, will prove destructive. No. 4. — Our 
captain now wants a right -arm slow bowler accurate enough to 
keep down the runs (if it is necessary) on a hard true wicket, and 
powerful enough with the ball to take advantage of crumbled 
or sticky wickets. Who is he to take ? C. M. Wells of Surrey 
and Cambridge, Flowers of Notts, Attewell of ditto, Wain- 
wright of Yorkshire, A. Hearne of Kent, are all good names. 
The man for this place a few years ago would have been 
Alfred Shaw. What a fine bowler he was ! Perhaps his best 
performance was in 1875, when for Notts v. the M.C.C. at 
Lord's he bowled 162 balls for 7 runs and 7 wickets (bother the 
maidens : we don't care how many of them he bowled !), and 
amongst these seven wickets were W. G. Grace, A. W. Ridley, 
C. F. Buller, and Lord Harris. In the same match, for the 
M.C.C., A. W. Ridley with his lobs had a good analysis for the 
two innings — 208 balls, 46 runs, and 10 wickets. Our captain 
thinks for No. 4 he cannot do better than Wainwright, and we 
agree with him. No. 5 — the wicket-keeper — must be G. 
McGregor of Cambridge and Middlesex. Alas ! when this 
chapter was written for the first edition of this book Pilling was 
the wicket-keeper selected, and we then expressed a hope that 
his health would allow him to remain behind the stumps for 
many years to come. Pilling died a few years ago, but those 
who ever played with him will never forget the excellence of 
his calm and quiet wicket-keeping, nor the gentleness and 
courtesy which graced his whole character. No. 6. — Now our 
captain has got to fill up six places ; he has up to the present 
provided for ge:ting rid of the opposite side : he now turns his 
attention to the selection of his batsmen. W. G. Grace first, 
no one disputes. Does someone suggest Shrewsbury? Well, 
certainly, during the last seven or eight seasons he has batted 
most wonderfully well ; but for winning a match give us W. G. 
as our first choice. Shrewsbury may be the best to prevent 



his side being beaten ; but we want to win, and if one man 
stays in the best part of a couple of days for 150 runs there is 
a great chance of the game being drawn. We like the man 
who makes 150 in three to four hours, and then gets out and 
helps to get the other side out afterwards. So our captain 
annexes W. G. as No. 6. No. 7, Shrewsbury. No. 8, A. E. 
Stoddart, that sound and resolute batsman, who perhaps gives 
more pleasure to the spectators than any other living cricketer. 
No. 9, Gunn. No. 10. — And now, having selected nine of his 
team, our captain must consider what he has and what he has 
not got. His team at present consists of W. G. Grace, 
Shrewsbury, A. E. Stoddart, Gunn, G. McGregor, Mold, 
Lock wood, Peel, and VVainwright. He has therefore the four 
■best batsmen in England — Grace, Shrewsbury, Stoddart, and 
Gunn — three sound first-class batsmen in Lockwood, Peel, and 
VVainwright, a very likely run-getting bat in McGregor, and an 
indifferent performer in Mold. He has six bowlers, the four 
chosen and Grace and Stoddart. Now what has he in the 
field ? Shrewsbury will have to go point, that is evident, as he is 
a fairly good point and useless elsewhere owing to his inability 
to throw. Grace, Mold, and Lockwood must all be in places 
somewhere near the wicket, Grace because of advancing years 
and stiffened muscles, the other two because much throwing 
would damage their bowling. We have Stoddart and Gunn, 
-both excellent fielders and throwers, and these two must be 
kept for fielding in the country. Peel and Wainwright are 
also two good fielders, but they being bowlers will not probably 
be wanted for country fielding except in an emergency. Taken 
.as a whole, the nine we have already got are good fieldsmen. 
What does our captain then want for the tenth place ? As he 
has already got a strong batting, bowling, and fielding side, he 
-must look out for a good all-round cricketer who will strengthen 
his team at all points. He must take care not to give either 
of his last two places tu men who will weaken the side in 
fielding ; above all, they must be good in the field. Would 
AV. W. Read do for the tenth place ? Unquestionably he is a 



magnificent batsman, but where is he to go in the field ? 
Shrewsbury is at point ; W. W. Read would have to field 
elsewhere then, and, for the same reason as already given for 
W. G. Grace, he would seriously cripple the side if required to 
go into the country, as undoubtedly he would have to. No. 
Our captain rejects W. W. Read, and selects F. S. Jackson of 

At wicket after bowling. 

Cambridge University and Yorkshire as his tenth man. And as 
he is one of our most accomplished and resolute batsman, a fine 
field and thrower, and a most useful fast change bowler, surely 
his inclusion in the team will add strength to every department 
of it. No. ii. — The last place in the team is a difficult task to- 
select. The same considerations must guide the choice here 


as for the tenth place. If another bowler were required we 
would suggest Briggs or A. Hearne as being good bowlers and 
all-round good cricketers, but our captain is already playing 
four men to bowl, and has in addition the various changes 
already mentioned. Is there any really first-class batsman 
who, if included in the team, would not injuriously affect the 
fielding of the side ? W. W. Read we have already said has to 
be rejected. A. Ward of Lancashire is the man, a really sound 
batsman and a good field and thrower. Our captain has com- 
pleted his task, and a very powerful team he has selected, strong 
in batting, bowling, fielding, and throwing, and indeed a 
difficult nut for any Australian side to crack. 

Such was the selection of the first English eleven about ten 
years ago, but a great deal has happened since that date. At 
the present moment Stoddart's team in Australia have been so 
unsuccessful that though when they started they were reckoned 
to be about our best eleven, for the honour of England it must 
be hoped that a better is to be found. There can be no doubt 
that our bowling is terribly weak, weaker on good wickets than 
at any previous time in cricket history, and it seems that we 
must go out of the beaten track of bowlers and try a change. 
Our representative eleven to-day is chosen with no great 
confidence, and many will unfavourably criticise the selection. 
There is no difficulty about the batsmen, who shall be MacLaren, 
Ranjitsinhji, Gunn, Abel, Jackson and Hayward, and the 
wicket-keeper Storer ; but what about the bowlers ? Hirst is 
not good enough, Peel and Briggs are past their prime, and 
Wainwright on good wickets is harmless. Richardson and 
Hearne we still must select, but for the last two we shall select 
a veteran and a youngster. Attewell shall be one and the 
young Essex amateur Bull shall be the other. During the last 
season Bull on hard wickets showed himself to be a slow 
bowler with more spin than any other bowler in England, more- 
over he is not so well known j while Attewell bowls still the 
best length, and can always keep runs down. 

One thing will be noticed here, and that is, that for the first 


time since 1 86 7 W. G Grace is left out of a representative English 
team, and the elements of a tragedy can be found here. For 
twenty-nine years he would have been chosen, but the time has 
come at last ; but to show his wonderful powers, if he had been 
chosen now — and some people would still choose him— it would 
largely be for his bowling, which is unlike other bowling, and 
would still get wickets. 

An old cricketer may here be permitted to drop a tear over 
the decadence of the bowling and the superlative excellence of 
the grounds that has disturbed the old balance of cricket, and 
brought far too prominently forward the second and third rate 

In the field all captains should be cheery and bright, and 
full of encouragement to both fielders and bowlers. A de- 
spondent captain, who becomes sad and low when things are 
going against him, has a most depressing effect on his men. 
Cricket is a game full of so many chances and surprises that 
no match is ever lost till the last ball has been bowled, so the 
bowlers must be cheered and encouraged and the fielders kept 
up to the mark till all is over. 

Everything that goes on in the game should be noticed by 
the captain. If a bowler forgets to get behind the stumps 
when the ball is to be returned to him by a fielder, the captain 
should at once call his attention to the fact ; if a fielder keeps 
shifting his position over after over without orders, a gentle 
reminder must be given; if a fielder throws unmercifully at 
the bowler or wicket -keeper when there is no attempt at a run 
on the part of the batsmen, he must be spoken to. It is a 
bad fault on the part of a fieldsman to knock the poor wicket- 
keeper's hands to pieces for no purpose. 

If a captain keeps his eye open on all these little things, and 
does his best to eradicate them and others of the same nature 
from his men, if he is a keen zealous cricketer gifted with a 
calm temperament and sound judgment, he may rest assured 
that before he has led his men very long he will be the cap- 
tain of a good team. 

' Guard please, Umpire.' 




If anyone were to ask us the question 
_l * What class of useful men receive most 
/oav'S <g, .'■ abuse and least thanks for their ser- 
vice?' we should, without hesitation, 
reply, * Cricket umpires.' The duties of 
an umpire are most laborious and irksome ; they require for their 
proper performance the exercise of numerous qualifications, and 
yet it is always the lot of every man who dons the white coat, 
the present dress of an umpire, to receive, certainly no thanks, 
and, too frequently, something which is not altogether unlike 
abuse. Nowhere can any notice be found in the history of 
cricket of the first appearance of umpires as sole judges of the 
game ; and from old pictures, and notably the one at Lord's, it 
is evident that, in the early days of cricket, there were no um- 
pires. The scoring was done bv the ' notcher,' who stood by 
and cut a notch in a stick every time a run was made, and 
who also most probably would be the one to decide any point 
of dispute that might arise amongst the players. The earliest 
•copy of the laws of cricket that we have is dated 1774; the 


heading is ■ The Laws of Cricket, revised at the Star and 
Garter, Pall Mall, February 25, 1774, by a committee of noble- 
men and gentlemen of Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, 
Middlesex, and London.' 

These laws are the foundation of those which now govern 
cricket, and in them rules were laid down with regard to 
umpires, some of which, with certain modifications, are still 
in force. Although these laws, promulgated in 1774, are the 
earliest authenticated, there is still in existence a much older 
document, though the date is unknown, which contains a few re- 
marks on the game, entitled ' Ye game of cricket as settled by 
ye cricket club at ye Star and Garter in Pall Mall,' and then it 
goes on, ' Laws for ye umpires/ showing that in considerably 
earlier days than 1774 umpires were recognised institutions in 
the game. 

It has always been the custom, till within the last few years, 
for each side to chooseMts own umpire, even in the most im- 
portant matches, except those played at Lord's and the Oval. 
The system of each side providing its own umpire existed till 
1883. It thus happened that aged and decayed cricketers were 
rewarded by being chosen as umpires to watch over the interests 
of their old colleagues. 

It was quite impossible for men who were thoroughly im- 
bued with a strong spirit of partisanship to remain perfectly 
impartial ; however honest and free from suspicion a man> 
might be, his opinion, at a critical stage of the game, could; 
not fail to be unconsciously biassed in favour of the side with 
whose name his own had been long associated. Many merv 
became alarmed at the idea of obtaining a reputation for giving 
partial decisions, and would go to the other extreme, and decide 
against their own side oftener than the facts justified. There 
were also men, no doubt— but these were few and far between 
— who used their important position to unfairly enhance the 
chances of victory for their own side. This system was a bad 
one, as it made the position of an umpire so extremely 
invidious : but it was not till 1883 that the present practice 


was introduced. At the beginnning of the season each county 
now sends up the names of two or more umpires to the secre- 
tary of the M.C.C. Then from the list of names nominated 
by the different county committees the secretary has to appoint 
two umpires for every county match, neither of these two 
being the nominees of either of the counties that are playing 
in the match. This system works very well and is a very fair 
one, as the judges of the game are not now exposed to the 
charge of partiality, so frequently made under the old rule, 
their interests being connected with neither side. The list of 
what may be called the official umpires is almost totally com- 
posed of elderly professional cricketers, who, as young men, 
were themselves famous players, they are consequently men 
who, having spent many years of their lives in the active 
pursuit of the game, possess a thorough knowledge of its laws 
and practice. And our experience of the way in which those 
arduous duties are performed is that, considering the difficulties 
of the situation they are placed in, our English umpires, taken 
as a body, give good and correct decisions. We think that this 
opinion would be indorsed by most leading cricketers. 

The difficulties of an umpire are many, and the nice 
distinctions he is called upon to draw over and over again 
during the course of the match may be gathered from the 
fact that bad decisions in first-class matches are not in- 
frequent. And yet we adhere to the commendation given 
above. It is an absolute impossibility to find an umpire 
who will not make mistakes at times. The most likely slip 
for him to make is, perhaps, when he is appealed to 
for a 'catch at the wicket.' Let us just glance at some of 
the difficulties which may, and often do, arise as to this de- 
cision. The umpire has to satisfy himself that the bat or the 
batsman's hand (but not the wrist) has touched the ball 
before it has lodged in the wicket-keeper's hand. There are 
often cases where there is no doubt that the bat has touched 
the ball; the batsman strikes at the ball and hits it so hard that 
the sound of the * click ' may be heard by every fieldsman on 


the ground, and even sometimes by the spectators ; and then, of 
course, the umpire has no difficulty. But supposing a batsman 
in playing forward to a ball just outside the off stump apparently 
misses it, and the ball turns after the pitch and, without any 
sound or ■ click,' lodges in the wicket-keeper's hand, what 
has the umpire to say if appealed to ? He sees the ball turn 
after the pitch, and he sees it pass the bat dangerously near, but 
he hears no sound ; perhaps in this case no one on the field 
but the wicket-keeper knows for certain what has taken place ; 
he knows that the ball turned from the pitch, just grazed the 
shoulder or edge of the bat, and came into his hands. The 
batsman, perhaps, has in his forward stroke touched the ground 
with his bat at the very moment the ball grazed the bat. The jar 
of his bat on the ground has nullified the effect of the touch 
of the ball, and he doubtless considers that if the appeal is 
answered against hirn he has met with injustice. In a case 
like this the umpire gives, or should give, the batsman the 
benefit of the doubt that exists, and No. i bad decision is 
chronicled against him by the fielding side. No blame can be 
attached to the umpire, he has done his very best to give 
a correct decision, but the circumstances have made it abso- 
lutely impossible for him to be certain on the point. Again, 
it is sometimes next to impossible for an umpire to be sure 
whether a ball has just grazed the tip of the indiarubber finger 
of a batsman's glove or not ; for often in such a case no 
sound can be distinguished. The batsman feels and the wicket- 
keeper sees it, but none else in the field knows anything at 
all about what has happened. The umpire can see the ball 
pass very close to the glove, but whether they have actually 
touched he cannot at a distance of twenty-four or twenty-five 
yards decide. An umpire may often be deceived, too, in his 
vision, if the ball pass the bat quickly and the stroke of the 
bat towards the ball has been a rapid one ; he may hear an 
ominous 'click' that sounds like a touch, and yet he may 
think that he saw daylight between them at the moment the 
ball passed the bat. We have more than once in a first-class 


match, in which two good umpires were engaged, struck a ball 
fairly hard and seen it lodge in the wicket-keeper's hands, and 
heard in answer to a confident appeal, ' Not out ; he was 
nowhere near it ! ' and this when everyone in the field heard 
the sound, and knew it could only have been caused by the 
ball meeting the bat. And again, supposing a slight noise or 
1 click ' to be heard just when a ball is passing outside the legs 
of a batsman, should the ball be taken by the wicket-keeper, 
it is often a most difficult thing for an umpire to be certain 
whether the ' click ' has been caused by the bat and the ball, or 
the batsman's leg or pad-strap and the ball. The click of the 
ball hitting a strap or hard piece of cane in a pad is very like 
the sharp sound caused by the bat hitting the ball, and this, 
added to the impossibility of the umpire actually seeing whether 
a leg ball passes close to the bat or not, makes appeals for leg- 
side catches at the wicket extremely hard to answer with any 
degree of certainty. 

These are a few instances of the many very difficult cases 
which an umpire may be called upon to decide at any moment 
during a match. Many others will probably occur to the minds 
of most of the readers of this chapter, at any rate of those who 
have any practical experience of the game. We do not, how- 
ever, propose to mention all these cases at present ; some of 
them we shall have to refer to later on. 

We think enough has been said as to the difficult nature 
of the post to show conclusively that it is an impossibility 
to find an umpire who will not be liable to give bad verdicts. 
It is most unfortunate that all umpires, in addition to having 
to bear the heavy weight of knowing that they may at any 
minute be called upon to give a decision about which they 
are uncertain and consequently liable to err, have also too 
often to suffer from the abuse of those who consider them- 
selves aggrieved by wrong decisions. The chief principle 
that tends to harmonise the game, and make it the quiet 
English pastime that it is, is that the umpire's decision shall 
be final. It would be impossible to play the game if this 


were not so ; how would matches ever be finished satis- 
factorily if every batsman had a right to remain at the wickets 
until he himself thought he was fairly out ? And yet, though 
this principle is universally known as the main one on which 
the prosperity of the game depends, we unfortunately find 
but too frequently, and even amongst some of the leading 
cricketers of the day, a tendency to revile and abuse the un- 
fortunate umpire whenever an appeal has been given against 
them. If a batsman considers he has been given out wrong- 
fully, he has a perfect right, of course, to give his opinion of 
what has taken place privately to anyone ; but he has no right 
to stand at his wicket wrangling with and abusing the umpire, 
nor has he a right to declare publicly to the pavilion on his 
return from the wickets that a wrong decision has been 
given. Too often one sees a sulky, bad-tempered- looking face 
arrive at the pavilion, and in loud tones declare he was not 
within a yard of it, or 'it didn't pitch within a foot of the 
wicket.' Such conduct is unsportsmanlike and ungentlemanly, 
and, what is more, is unfair, as such a statement is a public 
accusation made against the professional capacity of an absent 
man who has no opportunity of refuting or contradicting it. 

First-class amateur cricketers should remember that it is im- 
possible for them to pay too much deference to the decisions 
of umpires, as it is from them that the standard or tone of 
morality in the game is taken. They should ask themselves, if 
they wrangle and dispute with umpires in first-class matches 
when a large assemblage is present, what will happen in smaller 
matches, when there is not the same publicity and notoriety to 
restrain the rowdiness which has before now been the result of 
a wordy warfare with 'the sole judge of fair and unfair play.' 
We admit that there is nothing so disappointing and annoying 
to a batsman as to be given out by what is really a bad decision. 
Take, for instance, a man who cannot for business reasons get 
away as much as he would like to indulge in his favourite game. 
He has been looking forward for weeks to a particular match, 
perhaps one of the greatest importance; he has been practising 


hard for the last month in his spare time in the evenings after 
business hours. The eventful day comes, the time for his 
innings arrives, and just when he has settled down with ten or 
fifteen to his score, and has begun to find himself thoroughly at 
home with the bowling, his hopes are dashed to the ground by 
a bad decision. He is maddened with anger and disappoint- 
ment for the moment, and every cricketer will heartily sympathise 
with him ; but if he allows his feelings to get the better of him, 
and indulges in an open exhibition of anger against the umpire, 
that man should never play cricket again until he has satisfied 
himself that, come what may, he will be able to curb himself 
sufficiently to prevent such exhibitions, which act so greatly 
against the true interests of the game. 

The majority of cricketers, we are happy to say, are not 
open abusers of umpires and their decisions, though a consi- 
derable number have earned this unenviable notoriety. But by 
far the greater proportion of batsmen, though not open cavillers 
at the umpire's verdict, always refuse to allow that his judg- 
ment, when adverse to them, is correct, and especially in cases 
of l.b.w. It is one of the most extraordinary things connected 
with the game that, no matter how straight the ball may have 
pitched, how low down it may have hit the leg, and how 
straight it is going off the pitch to the wicket when stopped 
by the opposing leg, there is not one batsman in twenty who will 
allow that he is fairly out. ■ The ball pitched off the wicket ; ' 
1 It would have gone over the wicket ; ' * It was twisting like 
anything and would have missed the wicket ; ' and ' How could 
it be out? I hit it hard,' are the usual excuses that are made 
to a knot of the crestfallen batsman's friends and sympathisers 
after his return to the pavilion. Sometimes, no doubt, one or 
more of these excuses may be perfectly true, and the batsman 
has been unfortunately dismissed by an error in judgment on the 
part of the umpire ; but in far the larger number of instances 
they are simply sham excuses invented by the player to cover 
his own discomfiture. In some cases a batsman may really 
believe that the ball would have missed the wicket or did not 



pitch straight, and if so he has a perfect right, if he thinks fit,, 
to tell his own friends what is opinion is ; but as a rule the 
umpire's judgment is right and the batsman's is wrong. The 

A clear case. 

mere fact of a ball hitting the leg when it is pitched so nearly 
straight and would have so nearly hit the wicket as to justify 
an appeal to the umpire, shows that the batsman has seriously 
erred either in his judgment of the pitch of the ball or in his 


-stroke. He has made a mistake — the ball hitting his leg is a 
proof that he has done so ; and yet, with this proof staring 
him in the face, he comes out and states positively what 
practically comes to this : * The ball must have been very 
nearly straight and would have very nearly hit the stumps, or 
else the bowler would not have asked ; I mistook the pace, or 
the pitch, or the flight of the ball, or all three of them at the 
same time ; but now that I have had time to think over it, I 
know for certain the ball was not pitched straight or would 
not have hit the wicket/ This is the logical conclusion of the 
vast number of excuses that are made with regard to decisions 
of l.b.w. 

When a batsman says that he has hit the ball, it does not 
always follow that it is correct, for under certain circumstances 
he may imagine he has touched it when in fact he has not done 
so. For instance, if he plays forward with the bat close to his 
left leg, he may slightly touch his pad or his boot, which may 
produce in his mind the same impression as if the bat had 
touched the ball. In a forward stroke a slight touch on a hard 
ground with the end of the bat will often convey the same 
idea. There are one or two well-known cricketers, thoroughly 
keen and honest players of the game, whose habit of finding 
•fault with umpires' decisions adverse to themselves has often 
provoked great amusement. We remember on one occasion tak- 
ing part in a match in which one of these critical gentlemen 
was playing. Shortly after his innings began he missed a per- 
fectly straight ball, and just as it was going to hit the centre of 
the middle stump it came into contact with a thick well-padded 
leg. He had to go. Shortly afterwards in the pavilion he was 
overheard replying in answer to a friend, ' Out ? why, it didn't 
pitch straight by a quarter of an inch ! ' 

What has been said with regard to the duty of batsmen to 
abide by umpires' decisions applies equally to bowlers. What 
can be worse form than a public exhibition of temper on the 
part of a bowler because an appeal is not answered in his 
favour ? ' Wha-a-a-t? ' shouts a bowler at the top of his voice, 



after a negative answer to an appeal, his eyes glaring at the 
poor unfortunate umpire as if he wanted to eat him. ' What 
is out, then ? ' Perhaps in the next hall or two the batsman 
is palpably out, either bowled or caught. ' How's that, then, 
sir?' says the bowler in sarcastic glee, as if his success was 
directly due to the former verdict of the umpire. All this 
sort of thing is very poor cricket, and not calculated to promote 
the true spirit of friendliness which should distinguish every 
match if the game is to be enjoyed. 

It is in club cricket that there is always the greatest number 
of disputes about umpires' decisions. This is owing to the fact 
that the only way in which umpires can be procured is by each 
side bringing its own. As a rule the professional bowler of 
a club stands as umpire in all matches, and this system, as 
before mentioned, cannot fail occasionally to cause a little 
wrangling. Supposing, for instance, a side has to get half a 
dozen more runs to win a match with only one wicket to fall, 
and the umpire of the fielding side, by giving the last hope out 
leg before wicket, decides the game in favour of his employers, 
it must inevitably stir up some angry feelings, especially as a 
batsman is scarcely ever known to admit the impeachment of 
being fairly out l.b.w. Considering the keenness and anxiety 
to win of every cricketer worthy of the name, the fact of serious 
disputes being almost unknown is a remarkable instance of the 
generosity and manliness of English players. 

But it is in bond fide country or rustic matches that there 
is most often good reason for finding fault with the decisions of 
umpires. We are not speaking of matches between clubs who 
can boast enough members to enable them to engage a profes- 
sional bowler, level a good large square piece of turf, and erect 
a local habitation in the shape of a neat and pretty little pavilion ; 
but of matches between clubs in remote villages, where the 
village common, rough and uneven as it is, suffices for practice 
on the week-day evenings and for matches on Saturday after- 
noons, where the only weapons of the batsmen are the old well- 
worn and usually desperately heavy club bats, where the village 


barber is the bowler, the village baker the best batsman, and 
the umpire, on whom his side relies for victory more than on 
all the other men in the village, the publican. There are still 
such clubs in existence, though not nearly so many now as in 
days gone by. The increased popularity of the game, and the 
greater facilities for getting about the country, have caused 
many of these old village clubs to become large and well-to-do. 
One of the greatest treats that any cricket-lover can have is to 
take part in a match between two really primitive village clubs. 
The old fast under-arm bowling, now sixty years at least out 
of date in first-class cricket, still preserves its pristine efficacy 
on the rough uneven turf, and against the untutored bats- 
men. The running and the shouting and the general excite- 
ment when the parson misses a catch, or the butcher is bowled, 
is very pleasing to one accustomed to the stateliness and 
publicity of a match at Lord's or the Oval. But the village 
umpire is, perhaps, the most interesting personage on the 
ground. He is usually a stout elderly man, who, grown too 
grey on the head and too thick in the girth to give his side 
any more active help in the field, assists in quite as efficient a 
manner in his new post. He is generally a genial, jolly sort 
of fellow ; devoted to the game, he fondly imagines that he 
is an infallible judge of every point that can arise in it, though 
really he is wofully ignorant of the whole subject. He is, 
however, looked up to by the whole village as an authority 
whose opinion cannot be disputed ; probably he has once in 
his life, many years ago, been to Lord's, and has there, while 
watching Carpenter, Hayward, and George Parr, laid up a store 
of information connected with the play of great cricket cele- 
brities which has sufficed ever since to maintain his reputation 
as a cricket savant. 

Before the beginning of a match, he may be seen diligently 
rolling the stubborn ground with a small hand-roller, in the 
hopes that some of the numerous adamantine hillocks may be 
compressed to something like a level with the surrounding 
dales and valleys. 


22 8 CRICKET. 

After this labour of love has been ineffectually bestowed he 
proceeds to mark the creases. And what marvellous works of 
art they are when finished ! Long crooked lines, some three or 
four inches in thickness, suggest that straightness and neatness 
have been sacrificed to the desire of using as much whitening 
as possible. When it is time for the match to begin, he marches 
solemnly to the wicket, with a bat over his shoulder, chaffing 
and joking with the players as he goes. Then, what numerous 
appeals are made to him ! Catches at the wicket, l.b.w., runs out, 
all follow one another in quick succession. His decisions are 
always given with deliberation and evident doubt, and often are 
preceded by questions to the batsman, such as, * Did yer 'it it, 
Jack ? ' or, * Whereabouts did it touch ye ? ' Thus the length of 
a man's innings is often in the same ratio as his moral obliquity 
in concealing or perverting the truth. However, there is 
wonderfully little disputing, the good-natured batsmen being 
quite willing to abide by the fiat of the great authority ; and if 
decisions are given rather more against than for them, they are 
induced to keep quiet by the knowledge that they have their 
own village judge at the other end, who, when the time comes, 
will do his best to equalise matters. 

One of the most primitive rustic matches we ever saw 
was on a village common in Hampshire. We always look 
back to that match as one which produced more real fun 
than any we have ever taken part in. The village umpire 
there, a jolly good-natured old man, but absolutely ignorant 
of the laws of cricket, caused us the greatest merriment during 
the whole day. In addition to his official post as umpire, he 
was the village caterer at all public entertainments, and con- 
sequently supplied luncheon at all the matches. It was 
evident his thoughts in the field were divided between the 
responsibilities of his two duties — at least we inferred so by his 
occasionally allowing the bowler to bowl as much as ten or 

more balls in an over, and giving as his reason, ' If Mr. 

doant have a bit o' exercise, he woant relish my steak pie. 
O'im vaamous for steak pies, yer know, sir,' he added by way of 


apology for introducing the subject. This worthy old umpire 
gave certainly the most astonishing decision we ever saw. A 
man was batting at one end who was evidently one of the 
swells of his side. Owing to the roughness and slope of the 
ground, the slow bowling that he had to play was going about 

* You must go, Jack.' 

in all directions. Now a ball, pitching nearly a wide to leg, 
would twist in and pass the wicket on the orT side, and then 
one pitched wide on the off would hit or pass the legs of the 
batsman, who, after many wild and futile attempts to strike 
this, to him, peculiar style of bowling, determined, as a last 


resource, to treat it with supreme contempt. He therefore, 
whenever the ball pitched wide, got in front of his stumps, 
turned round, and presented the back portion of his person to 
the bowler. The umpire watched these proceedings with a 
somewhat perplexed smile on his broad good-humoured face, 
but said nothing. Shortly, a ball that pitched a couple of feet 
on the leg side, twisted in, and struck the batsman on the 
seat of his trousers. This caused some laughter amongst the 
lookers-on, and when the mirth had subsided the umpire 
walked slowly a few yards down the pitch and addressed the 
batsman thus : ■ Why, Jack, that ain't cricket. O'im a pretty 
favourable umpire as a rule, you know, Jack : but when a man 
stops the ball with that, he must be out. You must go, Jack.' 
Nothing would induce the injured batsman to remain ; we 
implored him to stay, but no ; he had been given out and was 
going out ; and for the rest of the day he enjoyed the impor- 
tance of being an injured man — an importance enhanced by 
the opinions of his admirers that, had he not suffered an 
injustice, the village scorers would have had on that occasion 
anything but a holiday. 

The well-known crack player who now and then plays in 
village cricket matches usually enjoys perfect immunity from 
the vagaries of the village umpire ; in fact, he runs only a very 
slight chance of ever being out at all, unless he is palpably 
caught or his stumps knocked down. The old style of umpire 
that we have attempted to describe is immensely delighted 
at the prospect of seeing what he calls 'real cricket,' and 
whether the ' swell ' is on his side or against it, he fully 
makes up his mind that it will be no fault of his if spectators 
are not treated to an exhibition of the real article. The 
bowlers may be hoarse with appealing, but the umpire remains 
obdurate, and it is with real sorrow he at last sees the great 
man go. 

We remember on one occasion coming across a strange 
umpire in Scotland. It was in a country (very country) match. 
The writer was batting, and his co-partner at the other end was a 


well-known sporting baronet. The latter was the continual cause 
of appeals both from the bowler and wicket-keeper for l.b.w.'s 
and catches at the wicket. All were answered in the batsman's 
favour, much to the disgust of the fielders. Thinking that the 
latter were really being treated rather badly, the writer ventured 
humbly to ask the umpire whether the last appeal (an enormous 
thigh right in front of all three stumps to a straight one) had 
not been a very near thing. * Lor bless you, sir,' was the reply, 
1 1 have been his valet for fifteen years, and I dussn't give him 
out ; he gets awful wild at times.' 

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing to umpires as well 
as everyone else. A ball in a country match hit the batsman's 
leg, skied up in the air, and was caught by point. ' How's that 
for leg before wicket ? ' shouted the bowler. ' How's that for a 
catch ? ' said point. The bewildered umpire had not an idea 
what it was, but no doubt he thought such loud appeals meant 
something, and so said, ' Out' ' What for ? ' said the batsman ; 
'it didn't pitch anything like straight, wouldn't have hit the 
wicket, and what's more, never touched it.' ' Out,' said the 
nonplussed umpire ; ■ it hit you below the wrist. 1 This story, 
although told of an ignorant umpire, illustrates a principle 
which the best umpires should have in mind, but which many 
of them seem never to have learnt, or else to have forgotten, and 
that is, never give your reasons for a decision. This is a golden 
rule for all umpires. An umpire is engaged to say ' Out ' or 
1 Not out ' when appealed to, and not to state the reasons 
which have induced his verdict. When a man adds to his de- 
cision, ' It didn't pitch straight,' ■ Your toe was up in the air,' 
'Your bat was over the crease but not on the ground,' it 
has a tendency to create useless discussion and waste of time. 
Besides, an umpire may occasionally be right in his verdict, 
but may be brought to grief by explaining his reasons. For 
instance, suppose an appeal for a l.b.w., and the umpire says 
1 Not out.' The wicket-keeper and the bowler may know that 
the point for decision is whether the ball pitched straight or 
not ; the umpire adds, for example, ' The ball would nave gone 


over the wicket.' Well, this may be so, but both the wicket- 
keeper and the bowler think not ; if the verdict had been- 
a decided ' Not out,' both of these two would have been satis- 
fied — a doubtful point had been given against them, no one 
was to blame for it, better luck next time, &c. &c. But since 
the umpire has been guilty of stating reasons, which, according 
to them, are not satisfactory, he has branded himself with a bad 
decision in the eyes of the fielding side. 

Some umpires — in fact, the majority of them — have a habit 
of putting their hand and arm in the air and pointing to the 
skies when they give a man out. A verdict propitious to the 
batsman is given by a solemn ' Not out,' but one adverse by an 
annoying silence and a most inappropriate wave of the arm 
in the air. It would be far more to the purpose if the finger 
were pointed downwards instead of upwards, as the batsman's 
hopes are shattered. We never like to leave the wickets till 
the umpire's voice is heard. The arm may go in the air 
involuntarily, or the umpire be surprised into a spasmodic 
upward arm-jerk ; but a good honest * Out ' can never be 

With regard to the qualifications that a man should possess 
before he can hope to perform satisfactorily to himself and others 
the duties of an umpite, the first essential is that he must 
have been at one time a good cricketer. By good we do not 
mean first-class, or that he must have had his name amongst 
the list of the best players of his time ; but he must have been 
fairly proficient in the game, and must have had a large practical 
experience. The qualifications of a good judge are, no doubt, 
of a different nature from those for a good advocate, but before a 
man can sit on the Bench he must have passed through the 
wear and tear of the bar, and had, when there, varied experi- 
ences in the practice of law. So with an umpire ; it does not 
absolutely follow that a first-rate player will make a good 
umpire, but it does follow that a man who has had great 
practical experience in the game will be better qualified to 
decide the nice points that arise than one who has only made 


cricket a theoretical study. Assuming that a man has sufficient 
knowledge of the game to stand as umpire, he must possess 
quick and keen sight, a good sense of hearing, powers of rapid 
decision, and last, but not least, he must be very fond of 
cricket. The necessity of the first two of these qualifications 
for good umpiring is apparent. For most decisions a good 
power of sight only is required, but in appeals for catches at 
the wicket an umpire has both to be guided by his eyes and 
his ears. Many cases occur where the ball and the bat pass 
each other with such rapidity that it is impossible for an um- 
pire to be certain from his eyes alone that they have touched 
one another, and he must then, to a great extent, be guided 
by what he has heard. Both sight and sound must help him 
to come to his conclusion, and he must give no decision if 
it is inconsistent with the effect of either of these senses on his 

No umpire should ever be chosen to stand in first-class 
matches unless he possesses the perfect use of these two senses. 
More than once in important matches we have seen an umpire 
with his ears stuffed full of cotton-wool. This, no doubt, was an 
excellent preventive against catching cold in the head, but it 
was a monstrous thing to see the result of a match of some 
interest depending upon the amount of sound that could pene- 
trate through two or three layers of wadding. 

An umpire should possess powers of quick decision, because 
every time his opinion is asked he has to give it at once, and 
with firmness. If he shows any signs of doubt or hesitation, 
he destroys the confidence which it should be his constant en- 
deavour to see reposed in him and his judgment. 

An umpire has to concentrate every particle of his attention 
on the game, every minute of the five or six hours he is in the 
field has to be devoted to studiously watching every ball that 
is bowled and every incident in the play. Once let his attention 
be distracted, or his interest lessened in what is going on around 
him, and he will make a mistake. The powers of concentration 
necessary in an umpire are so great, and are required for such 


a lengthy period, that it is impossible to find them in any man 
unless he is imbued with a thorough love of cricket. It is this 
devotion to the game which enables our umpires to fix their 
attention on it for such long weary hours, in all conditions of 
weather, and in our most important matches, with such a heavy 
weight of responsibility upon their shoulders. Firm, free, and 
unbiassed in their judgment, our English umpires have the 
satisfaction of knowing that unbounded confidence is placed 
in them by the players and the public, and that never in the 
history of modern cricket has there been the faintest whisper 
of suspicion against their integrity or fair fame. 

And now let us discuss the actual duties of an umpire con- 
nected with the game. The two umpires before the beginning 
of the match should be present when the ground is chosen and 
measured. By rights, it is the duty of the umpires actually to 
choose the pitch ; but this is seldom done, as so much care 
and attention is spent on all grounds at the present day by the 
ground-men, that the wicket intended to be used has been 
generally prepared with diligence for two or three days previous 
to the match. They should, however, be present, and see that 
the ground is the proper measurement,- and that the stumps 
are so fixed in the ground as to satisfy the sixth rule of the 
game — namely, * Each wicket shall be eight inches in width, and 
consist of three stumps. . . . The stumps shall be of equal 
and sufficient size to prevent the ball from passing through, 
twenty-seven inches out of the ground. The bails shall be each 
four inches in length, and when in position on the top of the 
stumps, shall not project more than half an inch above them. 
Umpires should be very careful to see that these provisions are 
complied with both with regard to the width of the wicket and 
the ball passing between the stumps.' We have often seen 
stumps in a first-class match so wide apart that the ball would 
pass between them without dislodging the bails; over and over 
again have we taken hold of the ball and passed it between them 
to show the umpire that the stumps were too far apart ; but 
we have never seen a bowled ball pass between the stumps 


without removing the bails in a first-class match, though this 
often happens in smaller matches. Umpires should themselves 
measure the ground between the wickets ; groundsmen, as a 
rule, do this, but they occasionally do it in a careless and 
slovenly fashion, which may result in the distance being a foot 
too short or too long. The slightest difference in the usual 
distance of twenty-two yards from wicket to wicket makes a 
great difference to the bowler, and so it should invariably be 
checked by the umpires themselves using the chain. 

Before the match begins, the umpires should settle what 
the boundaries are to be. This, of course, will only apply 
to those places where the boundaries have not been finally 
settled, as at Lord's and the Oval and other well-known 
grounds. The usual practice, however, is for the visiting team 
to accept the boundaries that are customary on the ground; 
but should there be any dispute on this subject, it must be 
settled by the umpires. Having arranged all preliminaries 
connected with the pitch and the boundaries, the umpires 
should go to the wickets punctually to the very minute agreed 
upon for beginning play. A vast amount of time is on many 
grounds lost owing to unpunctuality ; and if the umpires 
appear on the ground at the appointed time, irrespective of 
whether the players are ready or not, it has a good effect. The 
umpire at the bowler's end, when the bowling is over the wicket, 
should stand as near as he can to the wicket without incon- 
veniencing the bowler in his action ; he should stand sideways 
fronting the bowler, but with his head looking over his right 
shoulder down the pitch. The object of this attitude is that as 
small a surface of his body as possible should be permitted to 
be in the line of sight of the batsman and the ball. There are 
some umpires who stand as much as five or six yards from the 
wicket, no doubt under the impression that so long as they are 
in a straight line with the two wickets they can see everything; 
but this is a mistake, as it is evident that the nearer the umpire 
stands to the wicket the better he can see and judge the points 
that arise for his decision. Before umpires were required to 


wear the long white coats which now render them so conspicu- 
ous, their dark ones often greatly interfered with the batsman's 
view of the ball, but now this inconvenience has been done 
away with, and the batsman can never rightly complain of his 
sight being obscured by the umpire. 

The umpire should stand perfectly still at the moment the 
ball is delivered; he must not even move his head, as any moving 
object directly behind the ball, and especially as near to it as 
the umpire is standing, may distract the batsman's sight from 
the ball. He must watch the bowler's hindmost foot to see if 
it touch or cross the bowling crease, in which case it is a ' no 
ball,' and must almost at the same time watch the bowler's hand 
and arm to guard against any infringement of the rule against 

The rule with regard to ' no balls ' is, ' The bowler shall 
deliver the ball with one foot on the ground behind the bowl- 
ing crease, and within the return crease, otherwise the umpire 
shall call no ball. , The umpire must, therefore, call ' no ball ' 
if the hindmost foot of the bowler is, at the moment of delivery, 
even touching the bowling or return creases. This rule makes 
it important that the bowling crease should be neatly and cor- 
rectly marked. The rule with regard to the bowling crease 
says that it ' shall be in a line with the stumps, 6 ft. 8 in. in 
length, &c.,'but says nothing about the width of it. We must, 
therefore, infer from the words ' in a line ' that the bowling 
crease should not be of greater width than the thickness of the 
stumps. If it is drawn of this thickness only, it is a very 
narrow line, but is correct according to a common-sense inter- 
pretation of the rules 7 and n ; for supposing, as is often the 
case, the crease is thicker than the width of the stumps, it 
would then be a manifest injustice to 'no ball' a bowler because 
his hindmost foot has just touched the edge of it. These two 
rules evidently mean that the hindmost foot shall be behind the 
line of the wicket when the ball is delivered. If the crease is 
too thick, the foot may just touch it and yet not transgress the 
spirit of the two rules taken together. 


With regard to the necessity, laid down in rule 11, for the 
hindmost foot to be on the ground . . . when the ball is 
delivered, we think umpires may take it as settled that it is 
quite an impossibility for a bowler to deliver a ball with this 
foot off the ground. Let anyone try to bowl with only the 
left foot on the ground, and he will at once see the practical 
impossibility of doing so. A 'no ball' should be called 
quickly and distinctly directly the ball has been delivered; 
an umpire must not shout ' No ball ' as soon as he sees the 
foot touch or overlap the crease, but must wait till the ball is 
actually bowled ; otherwise he may land himself in a difficulty 
should the bowler stop and not deliver the ball. We remember 
an umpire, who is generally supposed to be about the best in 
England, making this mistake in 1886 ; he called a 'no ball ' 
so very prematurely that it gave the bowler time to stop before 
the ball left his hand. 

A wide ball is one that, in the opinion of the umpire, is not 
within reach of the striker. It therefore does not make the 
slightest difference where it pitches so long as, in the umpire's 
opinion, it has never been within the batsman's reach. Some 
people entertain the idea that if a ball has pitched fairly straight 
but afterwards twisted beyond the batsman's reach, it should 
not be called wide; but this is wrong, as the rule says positively 
that { if it is not within reach of the striker, the umpire shall 
call "wide ball." ' It is often a very nice point as to what is 
or is not within reach of the striker, and umpires' opinions vary 
on this head. We think the true reading of the rule is that, on 
the off side, the batsman's reach should not be limited to what 
he can only reach when standing still in his original position, 
but should be extended to what he can conveniently and com- 
fortably reach with either leg across his wicket, say for ' cutting ' 
or 'off driving.' On the leg side we think a ball should be 
called ■ wide ' if the batsman in the ordinary swing of the 
arms and bat for a leg hit could not reach it. 1 It thus follows, 

1 A batsman's reach is further on the off than the leg side, because he has 
his legrs to put across the wicket to help him on the former side. 


that a ball may be a 'wide' on the leg side which would not be 
one if at an equal distance from the batsman on the off side. If 
the ball passes so high over the batsman as to be out of his 
reach, it is a 'wide.' This very rarely occurs, but umpires 
should remember that if the batsman can touch this ball by 
holding the bat in the air, it is not a 'wide.' It does not 
follow that it is a ' wide ' because the ball goes over the head of 
the batsman without being played at — most batsmen refuse to 
strike at such a ball because of the attendant risk — but it must 
be so high that the batsman cannot reach it when holding the 
bat in the usual manner. 

When the bowler is bowling round the wicket the umpire 
should stand exactly in the same place as he does for ' over 
the wicket ' bowling, but should of course front the bowler's side 
of the wicket. He should be watchful to see that the bowler 
keeps within the limit of the return crease ; if he touches 
this with his hindmost foot, it is a ' no ball ' and should be 
instantly 'called.' Round-the-wicket bowlers often have a 
tendency to bowl as far as possible round the wicket, and as 
this is done with the object of making their bowling more 
difficult, umpires should be careful to keep them within the 
prescribed limits. There is rather a slackness in many umpires 
about calling ' no ball ' because the return crease is touched j 
but they ought to be quite as particular in this respect as in 
the case of the bowling crease — in fact, even more so, as a ball 
delivered an extra inch from the line between wicket and wicket 
makes more difference to the batsman than one delivered an 
inch nearer than usual. 

The principal duties of the umpire at the bowler's end are 
those we have discussed — viz. calling ' wides ' and ■ no balls,' 
answering decisions for leg before wicket and catches at the 
wicket — and there are some few other points he may occasion- 
ally be called upon to decide. Before mentioning these, let 
us see what the laws say with regard to the several duties of 
the two umpires. Law 47 says, ' The umpire at the bowler's 
wicket shall be appealed to before the other umpire in all 


cases except in those of stumping, hit wicket, run out at the 
striker's wicket, or arising out of law 42 (the law relating to any 
part of the wicket-keeper's person being in front of the wicket, 
or to his taking the ball before it reaches the wicket) ; but in 
any case in which an umpire is unable to give a decision, he 
shall appeal to the other umpire, whose decision shall be final.' 
It will thus be seen that the umpire at the bowler's end must 
be appealed to first in all but the excepted cases ; he therefore 
has to decide all questions relating to catches ; but if he is 
uncertain, or from some cause has been prevented from seeing 
the circumstances of the catch, he may appeal to the other 
umpire, whose decision shall be final. It is sometimes a very 
difficult thing for an umpire to be certain whether or not the 
fielder's hands have got under the ball before it has touched 
the ground ; if he is at all doubtful, he should at once appeal 
to the other umpire, whose position may probably have enabled 
him to get a better view of the ' catch.' A difficulty occasion- 
ally arises in connection with what is commonly called a ' bump' 
ball. A bump ball is one which the batsman, playing hard on 
to the ground and close to the bat, causes to bound in the 
air. Should it be caught by a fielder, a question often arises 
whether it touched the ground after the bat or not. Sometimes 
these decisions are hard to arrive at with certainty, and es- 
pecially so if the ground is dry and dusty and the batsman in 
striking stirs up a cloud of dust, as the actual contact between 
the bat and the ball is then partially, if not altogether, obscured 
from the umpire's view. Perhaps the most historical decision 
on this point is one that was given in the University match of 
1 88 1. C. F. H. Leslie, the well-known old Rugbeian, had just 
begun his innings ; A. F. J. Ford was bowling. Leslie made 
a half-hit at a well-pitched-up ball, and raised a cloud of dust 
around him ; the ball came straight back to the bowler, who 
caught it, and Leslie instantly left his wicket for the pavilion, 
evidently under the impression that he was fairly out. Before 
he had reached the entrance of the pavilion circumstances arose 
which caused the other batsman then at the wickets to appeal 


to the bowler's umpire for a decision as to whether the catch 
had been made off a * bump ' ball or not. This umpire, not 
being able to give a decision, appealed to the other one, who, 
after some discussion with his colleague, decided in the affirma- 
tive, and consequently Leslie resumed his innings. 

When an umpire has to decide the question of a ' bump ' 
ball or not, he must be guided by its length, its flight from the 
bat, and the way in which the latter has been used ; the state 
of the ground sometimes must be considered, as it is unlikely, 
when the turf is in a soft, spongy state, that a ball will bounce 
high or far from it. 

As will be seen by the latter part of law 47 (just quoted), 
the bowler's umpire may occasionally be appealed to on matters 
which are primarily in the discretion of his colleague. If the 
latter cannot decide, for instance, a question of stumping, which, 
by the law, must first be referred to him, he may appeal to the 
bowler's umpire. This power of appealing in cases of stump- 
ing is rarely used — in fact, we have never seen or heard of a 
single case of its exercise, though we once saw a case arise in 
which an appeal might very rightly have been made. In the 
University match of 1878, A. H. Evans was batting, he ran out 
to a slow, hit at it with all his might, missed it, and let the bat 
slip out of his hands. The ball was taken, and the wicket put 
down by the Cambridge wicket-keeper, Alfred Lyttelton; but 
the umpire had seen the bat flying straight at his head, and not 
wishing to risk a broken crown by sticking to his post, had 
fallen down with his head averted from the wicket, and was 
consequently unable to give a decision on a case which he had 
not seen. Evans was some three or four feet out of his ground 
when the bails were knocked off, but as no decision was given 
against him he of course remained at the wickets. This is 
exactly the case which this part of rule 47 is framed to meet; 
the other umpire would have been quite able to have given a 
decision on a plain case like this, and no doubt would have 
done so had there been an appeal made to him. 

Under law 43 many points arise for the decision of the 


bowler's umpire, two of which merit discussion here. This law 
says, ' The umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play \ 
of the fitness of the ground, the weather, and the light for play; 
all disputes shall be determined by them, and if they disagree 
the actual state of things shall continue.' But law 46 says, ' They 
(the umpires) shall not order a batsman out unless appealed to 
by the other side.' So that no umpire can really decide any- 
thing, except wides, no balls, and boundary hits, unless an 
appeal is made to him. As will be seen from law 43, appeals 
may be made on the fairness or otherwise of the play. These 
appeals happily are seldom made, but circumstances may arise 
in which it is the duty of the umpire to give his opinion under 
this rule. For instance, should the bowler so cut up the pitch 
with his feet as to place the batsman at a disadvantage when 
opposed to the bowling from the other end, it would be the duty 
of the umpire, if appealed to, to say that such tearing or cutting 
up was unfair, whether done accidentally or not. When the 
Hon. Ivo Bligh's team was in Australia in 1882-3, an appeal 
was made to the umpire by one of this team as to whether the 
way in which Spofforth was cutting up the wicket was fair or 
unfair. There was no doubt the wicket was being seriously 
damaged; the appealing batsman of course made no imputation 
of intentional unfairness against Spofforth, but only asked for 
a decision whether such damage was fair to the batting side. 
The umpire asked to see the soles of Spofforth's shoes; these 
were held up for public view, and as they only had about one 
spike each, it was decided that there was nothing unfair. It, 
is, however, a well-known fact that when ground is cut up, it is 
done by the force with which the boot is brought on to the 
ground; the edge of the sole is often answerable for the damage, 
and the number of spikes that are worn is quite beside the 

As we have before noted, the umpire at the striker's end 
has to decide some few points ; his duties, however, are not 
nearly so onerous as those of his colleague at the other end. 


242 * CRICKET. 

They are decisions on stumping, hitting wicket, running out, 
and matters arising under law 42. This umpire should stand 
quite square with the wicket, so near as to enable him to see 
accurately all that happens without placing himself in any risk 
from a hard square hit. He should take care that the popping 
crease is clearly visible to him : if it has got worn out and 
difficult to see, a pinch of sawdust placed at the end of it 
will give him its correct line. It is always best, however, when 
either of the creases has become indistinct to send for the 
whitening and re-mark it Stumping rarely gives much difficulty 
to the umpire ; his position is such that he ought always to be 
able to see whether the bails are off before the bat or foot are 
within the line. If the toe of the batsman is on the crease 
and no part of his foot within it, of course the decision must be 
against the batsman. If the batsman relies on his bat being in 
his ground when the bails are off, the umpire should recollect 
that the bat must be in his hand according to law 19. We 
recollect once seeing in a county match a batsman after a 
tremendous futile swipe fall prostrate outside his ground with 
the force of the unsuccessful stroke ; he was lying some two 
feet out of his ground, and his bat was within the crease 
with the handle resting on his shoulder when the wicket was 
put down. The umpire wrongly gave him ' not out,' no doubt 
thinking he was justified in doing so as the bat was connected 
with a portion of the batsman's body. The bat must, however, 
be in his hand to prevent a decision against him, unless ' some 
part of his person be grounded within the line of the popping 

It is generally easy for an umpire to see when a batsman 
hits his wickets. The ball is usually played by the bat, but 
the batsman coming further back than usual, either from a mis- 
take in his judgment as to the pitch or from originally standing 
too near, strikes the wicket. An umpire, however, must keep 
a sharp look on the wicket-keeper's feet and hands, and see 
that the fall of the bails is not due to any of these coming 
in contact with the wicket. It is possible for a wicket-keeper 



to dislodge the bails with the tip of his gloves or the point of 
his boot, and yet be unconscious that he has done so. An 
umpire must also keep his eyes open to guard against any 
chance of this being intentionally done. Fortunately there 
is now no ■ hanky-panky ! play in our first-class cricket ; but 
there have undoubtedly been cases where a smart wicket- 
keeper has been unable to resist the temptation of removing 
the bail with foot or glove when in the act of taking the ball. 
If any part of the batsman's person hits the wicket ' in playing 


at the ball,' it is sufficient to justify a decision against him. If 
his hat blow off and knock the bails off when he is in the act 
of playing, he is out ; several instances are on record of this 
unfortunate method of dismissal. In the season of 1886 there 
was an instance recorded of a man knocking one of his bails 
off with a piece of the string that had been wrapped round 
the blade of his bat ; he was, of course, given out. A difficulty 
sometimes arises as to whether the bail was knocked off in the 
actual stroke at the ball, or whether it was in the action of the 
bat preliminary or subsequent to the stroke. 


The duties of umpires are so various, and the decisions 
they are called upon to give are so numerous, that it is an im- 
possibility to discuss them all. Every umpire should remember 
that when an unforeseen incident occurs in the game he must 
use his common sense for its solution, and then he will not go 
far wrong. 




(By the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton.) 


ERTAIN natural 
qualifications are 
indispensable to en- 
able any cricketer to be- 
come a great fieldsman. 
The highest reputation that 
can be attained by any pains- 
taking cricketer who is not 
endowed with these qualifica- 
tions is that of being a good 

We are largely indebted to an article on this subject by the Hon. and 
E. Lyttelton, which appeared in Lillywhitt's Annual for 1881. 

Saving the four.' 


safe man. When you hear this epithet, you may take it for 
granted that reference is made to a man who may cover him- 
self with glory if he has to field a ball within a certain more 
or less limited space from the spot where he has taken his 
position, who is generally in the habit of holding a feasible 
catch, and who will seldom disgrace himself. 

In other words, a safe field is generally a slow one, is lacking 
in electricity and rapidity of movement, and, as batsmen get to 
know this, the short run is attempted with impunity. Slow fields 
are earnestly advised to practise throwing j for their defects are 
less apparent when fielding a long distance from the wicket, and 
the non-observant spectator does not notice that the ground co- 
vered at a distance from the wicket by a slow field is very small 
compared to that commanded by some space-covering field 
like Palairet, Sugg, or J. Douglas. 

Again, let safe and slow fields, the roadsters among the 
thoroughbreds, try and get a respectable knowledge of the 
game ; for if they obtain this they can in a great measure dis- 
count their deficiencies. A good judge of the game gets to 
know by instinct where a batsman is likely to hit certain balls, 
and so does the observant fieldsman. He will consequently shift 
a few yards or so from his original position to the spot towards 
which his instinct tells him the ball is likely to be hit ; and 
he will thereby earn the enviable reputation of being a man 
who is frequently in the right place. It used to be said of the 
immortal French tennis player, Barre, that he himself did not 
run after the ball, but the ball ran after him ; his genius told 
him where his opponent was going to hit the ball, and he planted 
himself accordingly. In like manner will a fieldsman so plant 
himself ; and it is important to a slow field to try and acquire 
this instinct, for if the fieldsman is not on a certain spot of ground 
before the hit is made, his slowness will prevent his getting there 
afterwards, especially if the hit is hard and the ground fast. 

Directions may now be given on the knotty points, * Where 
ought I to stand ? ' ' When ought I to back up ? ' * Which 
end ought I to throw to ? ' and a few others ; for this reason, 



that many a good fieldsman might be better if he knew where 
to place himself and precisely what to do. 

First, then, it may be safely asserted that a concentrated 
attention on every ball is a sine quci non of even decent field- 
ing. Men often think that if they are simply looking at the 
batsman they are doing all that is required. But this is not so. 
There is a difference of opinion as to whether the eyes should 
be fixed on the batsman, or should follow the ball .as it leaves 
the bowler's arm ; this is a matter of dispute, our own opinion 
being in favour of the former plan. But each man should stand 
as if the next ball were sure to come to him, not only as if it 

.. ^ \.'£,\f.$*-r<s 

Backing up. 

might come to him. One can see a whole eleven doing it now 
and then when there are (say) six runs wanted to tie and seven 
to win. They are all adopting for a few minutes the position 
they ought to adopt always — in short, the position in which great 
fieldsmen like Wainwright and Burnup are found invariably. 
We will first take a few general points, and then the separate 
places in the field. 


This is a matter which demands the earnest consideration 
of all who field within thirty yards of the wicket. There 
ought always to be two men backing up ; never more. 


Nine times out of ten they will be superfluous, but the tenth 
time they will save a 'four overthrow,' and all the chagrin, 
demoralisation, and tearing of hair connected with that disaster. 
No fieldsman can throw his best unless he is confident about 
the backing up, and the man who ought to be abused when an 
overthrow occurs is not the fieldsman who throws the ball, 
but the men who should be backing up and are not Again — 
and let young fields take heed to this — there must be ten yards 
between the two men backing up, and also between the one 
nearest the wicket and the wicket This gives them room to 
stop the wildest throw, but does not give the batsmen time to 
run if the ball passes the wicket. If the fields stand close 
together, two are as bad as none, and get in each other's way. 
Rules for the different fields we give in dealing with them 


This is, of course, a gift of nature, not a result of art. 
Few men can throw far, but everyone can throw quickly, and 
that is what prevents batsmen from running. There is a 
moment which decides a batsman whether he can manage to 
secure another run or not. It is just when a fieldsman, having 
run some way after the ball, and having his back turned to 
the wicket, is stooping to pick up preparatory to throwing in. 
Now any good judge of running, after seeing a man go through 
this process once, knows exactly how long it will take. Every 
nerve should be strained to make it as brief as possible: a little 
extra sign of life and rapid movement will make the batsman 
hesitate a moment, and the run is lost. The engraving on p. 245 
shows what in our opinion is the proper way to pick up a ball 
going away. The field is not trying to catch the ball up as far as 
his feet are concerned. He is stretching his hand forward to 
pick it up, and when he has got it into his hand he will throw it 
rather over his left shoulder to the wicket. Again, supposing a 
run is being snatched. The field should then remember that 
to throw in slowly is of no possible use. The throw may be, in 



other respects, as perfect and as straight as Robin Hood's arrow, 
but the batsman will be safe over the crease, and such a throw 
becomes an example of showy drawing-room cricket, which is 
sure to be applauded by the spectators, as well as the reporters, 
but is useless to the side. If every field picked up and threw 
in as quickly as his knee 
joints and the state of his 
arm allowed him, a very 
considerable percent- 
age of the runs usually 
scored would be saved. 
It is commonly as- 
serted by many of those 
supporters of the game 
who, having laid down 
their arms, devote them- 
selves for the rest of their 
lives to laying down the 
law, that nobody ought 
ever to throw down the 
wicket. This is certainly 
wrong. We do not mean 
that everybody ought 
always to throw at the 
wicket, but only that 
some fields, under cer- 
tain circumstances, ought to do so. These circumstances occur 
when it is the only chance of running a man out. The ball 
should be hurled violently at the bails, and if an overthrow 
occurs, the wise captain will abuse those who ought to be 
backing up, and not the thrower. But to throw hard at the 
wicket when there is no chance of running a man out is 
strongly to be condemned ; it may produce an overthrow, and 
it is certain to inflict useless concussion on the hands of 
bowlers and wicket-keepers. No fieldsman is so apt to dis- 
regard this advice as the bowler ; at least, it is a fact that many 

Overtaking and picking up.' 



bowlers are particularly fond of returning the ball hard to the 
wicket after they have fielded it. It does not succeed in run- 
ning a man out once in a thousand times, it often enables a 
run to be got by an overthrow, and it uselessly troubles the 
wicket-keeper. A batsman is next door to an idiot who is 
got out by such means, and we suspect that it is often done to 
secure the applause of an unthinking mob. 


This is an art which the above-mentioned critics lament as 
having died out. It may be suspected that they missed as 

many catches as the pre- 
sent generation, but still 
the present generation miss 
more than they ought. All 
fine country fields catch 
the ball close to the body — 
nay, more close to the head 
— and rightly so, because 
the eye is more in a line 
with the ball, and with the 
hands in the position shown 
in fig. 1, not in the way 
shown in fig. 2. If a 
young player begins in the 
wrong way, he will miss 
one or two and get ner- 
vous. It is worth remem- 
bering that folios of rules 
will never make a nervous 
field keep hold of a coun- 
try catch. Cold hands are 
a frequent cause of failure, 
but loss of confidence and 
the disorganisation of the nervous system is the commonest 
reason, and a constant prayer of many a cricketer is to be 
spared a high catch. 

Fig. i. — The right way to catch. 



When a field begins to be uncertain, he should keep wicket 
to fast bowling for a quarter of an hour a day, and field some- 
where close in for a week or so. The wicket-keeping will 
practise his eye, and the field- 
ing close in will spare his 
nerves during this educational 
process. Practice is, of course, 
useful for long catches, but 
only up to a certain point. A 
player may alter from a bad 
style of catching to a good 
one by practice, but a very safe 
catch in practice is frequently 
a bad performer in a match, 
simply on account of ner- 
vousness. For sharp catches, 
wicket-keeping is, perhaps, 
the only thing that will help. 
The peculiar faculty they de- 
mand is, like the spin in 
bowling, something that can- 
not be taught, the possession 
of which is a guarantee of 

And now for those who 
occupy the separate places, first among whom we are surely 
right in dealing with the 

Fig. 2. — The wrong way to catch. 


A little thought makes it clear that there are given at least 
three chances of catching to one of stumping a man out. And 
so the wicket-keeper must first feel the ball safe and warm in 
his hands before he attempts to put the wicket down. This 
advice sounds obvious, but it is so often disregarded that it 
must be insisted on. The first rule accordingly is, that the 
ball must not be snatched at, but received. This snapping 



used to be a very common fault with amateurs, and the great 
George Pinder's remark, 'You amateurs snap 'em a bit,' hit on 
a then weak spot in amateur wicket-keeping. Another reason 
for not snapping is one that will certainly strike home, and 
that is, that the non-snapper is not nearly so likely to hurt his 
hands, as one form of snapping consists in jerking the hands 
quickly forward to meet the ball, and thereby resisting a blow 
instead of waiting for it. Another danger of snapping is, that 

Wicket-keeper — Sherwin in position. 

you run the risk of moving your hands in such a way that in- 
stead of the ball striking the palms of the hands where it does 
not hurt, it strikes you on the top of the thumb or fingers, caus- 
ing an agony that only wicket-keepers can rightly appreciate. 
Hardly any two wicket-keepers stand alike, so take any position 
that is natural to you, as was recommended in the chapter on 
Batting, only bearing one fact in mind, which is, to avoid 
standing so far away as not to be able comfortably to put down 
the wicket without moving the legs. The postures generally 


assumed are, it must be confessed, the reverse of graceful ; 
they are too well known to need description, but the two most 
common forms are shown in the figures given on pp. 252 
and 254. In one figure we recognise the massive proportions 
of the famous Sherwin. It is wise to teach the beginner to 
stand still and not to move his feet till the ball is hit by the 
batsman or has passed his hands or is in his hands. We say 
beginners because some famous wicket-keepers do move right 
in front of the ball, but if a beginner moves his feet it may be 
inferred that he funks the ball, and is getting out of its way. 
Again, you may not be able to take many leg-balls, but every 
time you do put the wicket down, not regarding the fact that 
the batsman may not be out of his ground. If you wait to 
look, he certainly will not wait to get back, warned as he is by 
the sound of the ball impinging on the gloves that there is no 
time for loitering about. We do not say that an appeal ought 
to be made to the umpire every time that the wicket is put 
down ; that ought only to be done when you think that the bats- 
man was out of his ground ; unless this is the case it is an unfair 
and unsportsmanlike proceeding. 

We have before protested against pandering to the vicious 
tastes of the gallery, and we must protest against it again, 
and caution wicket-keepers in the following particular. It is 
supremely difficult to take leg- balls, and the populace applaud 
accordingly when one is taken. Now we have no objection to a 
wicket-keeper taking as many leg-balls as possible, but on one 
condition, and that is, that he does not lay himself out to take 
leg-balls at the expense of the off balls. It is easy to do 
this by a different position and a concentration of thought 
on the leg-balls. The vast majority of catches are given 
on the off side, and catches, as has been before remarked, 
out-number stumping chances in the proportion of 3 to 1. 
We would infinitely sooner have a wicket-keeper on our side 
who was safe on the off side and did not take one leg-ball in 
a hundred, limiting leg-balls to those outside the legs of the 
batsman. Let your first thoughts be concentrated mainly on 
straight and off-side balls, and pay no regard to the applause 



of any save those whose knowledge of the game makes their 
approbation valuable. 

A player with no aptitude for wicket-keeping on first going 
to that position will undergo moments of unspeakable agony. 
Spectators do not thoroughly realise the position of the wicket- 

Wicket-keeper — Another position. 

keeper, indeed nobody can who has not attempted the art. In 
the first place, we will suppose a very fast bowler ; in the second, 
a fast and possibly a rather bumpy wicket ; in the third place, 
a batsman with perhaps the bulk of W. G. Grace or K. J. Key, 
wielding a bat of the orthodox proportions ; and in the 
fourth place, three stumps with two bails placed on the top. 
The body of the batsman in many cases completely obstructs 
the view the wicket-keeper ought to have of the ball. Even if 
he can get a good sight of the ball there is that abominable bat 


being fiddled about, baulking the eyesight in the most tantalising 
manner, and there are some batsmen who have a provoking 
habit of waving their bats directly the bowler begins his run, 
and continuing their antics till the ball is right up to them ; 
while others seem to be built like windmills, and have a limb 
always at hand to throw out between the unhappy wicket-keeper 
and the rapidly-advancing ball. There are several seconds, 
therefore, when the wicket-keeper is only conjecturing what 
course the ball is taking, and is certain of but two things 
— one, that the ball is hard ; the other, that it is advancing in 
the direction of himself with terrific rapidity. Then, even if 
you see the ball plainly, it may happen to be, and frequently is, 
straight, and a straight fast ball raises unutterable emotions in 
the wicket-keeper's breast ; for who knows what devilish tricks 
the ball, to say nothing of the bails, will play after the wicket is 
struck, and the course of the missile diverted, not stopped ? One 
reads how a bail has been sent a distance of thirty or forty 
yards by a fast ball, and that bail may take the wicket-keeper 
in the eye in transitu. The writer was once struck by the ball 
on the eye and by the bail on the mouth at very nearly the 
same second. The wicket-keeper is grimly told that he must 
not flinch, and that he never can be really good if he does not 
keep his legs still. True, most true ; but, like other great people 
who do great things, he must resist every natural impulse and 
all his lower nature, and not till he has succeeded will he stand 
the least chance of reaching to a pinnacle of excellence. Having 
briefly pointed out these difficulties and dangers, let us beg the 
field to treat the wicket-keeper as tenderly as possible, to culti- 
vate a straight throw, either a catch or a long-hop, and not half- 
volleys or, worse still, short-hops, and never to throw hard when 
there is no necessity. If the throw is crooked, the wicket-keeper 
should not leave his position to stop it ; leave that to the men 
who are backing up. He may be called upon afterwards to put 
down the wicket, and he ought to be in a position for so doing. 
Bear in mind also this cardinal rule — namely, to stand behind 
the wicket to a throw and not in front. 



It may be stated first of all in regard to this place, that its 
importance is very considerably less in the cricket of the present 
day than it was in former times. The improvement of bowling 
in mere accuracy, owing to the fact that now compared with 
twenty years ago five medium pace and slow bowlers exist to 
one fast bowler, is the reason of this change ; and even when 

a long-leg is used, it is very often because a sort of back-up is 
required for the wicket-keeper, and the long-leg is consequently 
placed very sharp, always remembering that there is no long-stop. 
The man chosen for this grand post ought to know from the way 
a batsman hits at a ball whether he should stand square or sharp. 
The old-fashioned long-leg hitting of George Parr is almost a 
thing of the past; so that long-leg should stand too square rather 


than too sharp, especially as the right hand will thus get most 
to do. If the batsman is a weak hitter, alter the position, moving 
not only nearer the wicket but sharper as well. For a weak 
hitter's most dangerous stroke will be a snick to leg, and it 
is rather galling to see a snick score many runs. But a strong 
square-leg hit is far more dangerous; therefore, leave ample space 
to cover the ground, and trust to your speed to save two runs. 
A good runner, after he plays a ball gently to long-leg, makes 
all haste over the first run, and, as he turns, assumes that there is 
time for the second if he sees that the long-leg is slackening in 
che least, or winding up for an ornamental throw, or in any 
other way wasting time. In such case jump towards the ball the 
moment you see the batsman turning round to slide it in your 
direction ; run as if a mad bull were behind you, and picking 
up the ball with one hand (as it is moving slowly enough) hurl 
it at the wicket-keeper's head — unless he is some distance off, 
in which case throw so that it goes to the wicket-keeper a long- 
hop. Occasionally it is useful to throw to the bowler, assuming 
that he is behind the stumps and that mid-off is backing up, be- 
cause the batsmen get frightened at this manoeuvre, and feel that 
their second run entails too much of a risk, and this frequently 
prevents them trying it again. Bear in mind that the aim 
of good fielding is, not to run men out, but to prevent their 
trying to run. Remember also that a catch to long-leg has a 
tendency to curl towards your right hand, so do not rush too 
violently towards the left directly the ball is hit. 


have somewhat similar duties to perform, and the latter in 
one way is the easiest place in the field, for there is less twist 
on the ball when hit there than is the case with any other hit. 
When the ground is hard, stand deeper than when it is soft, 
because on a hard ground a single is easier, a four harder, to 
save. Again, stand wider when the bowler is bowling your 



side of the wicket, as he is then responsible for part of the 
space between you. If the batsman is a timid runner, it is a 
good plan to tempt him to run by pretending to be slow, and 
the moment he calls ' run ' dash in with unexpected vigour. 
This artifice, however, can be useful only once in an innings, 
and must not be attempted by any except quick and good 
fields. But if by well-ascertained and true report and your own 
observation you know that either or both of the batsmen are 
slow or timid runners, stand further back, unless there is any 
special reason to make you stand in for a catch, for by so doing 
you cover more ground and can save fourers or threes. Mid-off 
must back up behind the bowler when the ball is thrown in 
from long-leg, short-leg, mid -on and long- stop. Mid-on backs 
up the bowler when it is thrown from mid-off, cover-point, 
point, and third man. Modern tactics and modern slow bowling 
have invented an extra field in the shape of an extra mid-off, 
who stands between cover-point and mid-off, and his duties, 
when the fashion is to bowl mainly on the off side for catches, 
are most onerous. Mr. G. B. Studd's fielding here was one of 
the sights of cricket. The Australians in general, and Boyle 
in particular, have introduced a new position to bowlers of the 
Spofforth type — you may call it either an extra short-leg or 
an extra mid-on. If the wicket is soft and catchy this field 
stands sometimes only five or six yards from the bat, and makes 
numerous catches when batsmen are poking forward and the 
ball is inclined to hang. In short, it is on the on side that which 
' silly point ' — afterwards described — is on the off side. It will 
only be seen when bowlers of superlative excellence are bowling, 
men who can be relied upon to keep a good length, and whose 
bowling is too fast to allow the batsman to run out for a drive. 
If the bowler has not these qualities, but bowls a decent average 
of half-volleys on the leg-stump or a little outside, there will 
probably be a coroner's inquest required. But Boyle knew that 
neither Spofforth nor Palmer bowled such balls, and it cramps 
the batsman unpleasantly to see a field standing there on a 

FIELDING. ■ 259 

tricky wicket. Extreme vigilance is required for this post, and 
the risk of injury is too great to permit it being made use of 
when the wicket is fast. It was practically never seen in England 
till the Australians introduced it in 1878. 


shares with the three last-mentioned fields a great respon- 
sibility connected with throwing and running fast after the ball. 
A very common set of strokes are those which send the ball on 
either side of cover-point, mid-off, extra mid-orT or mid-on, and 
realise on a hard ground three runs. Now a really good field 
very seldom allows three runs, because he makes the batsmen 
suppose that the ball is somehow back at the wicket almost at the 
same moment that he is seen picking it up from the ground. 
Those who have tried this will testify how very often a sudden turn 
and throw-in just checks the third run ; the batsmen feel that 
they must watch such a field, and it is this very watching which 
prevents them from ever pressing the running. This is a most 
important matter and one generally neglected, but it is worth 
insisting on, because anybody can act upon this piece of advice. 
Anyone can run his fastest and throw his quickest, but the men 
who field in these places seldom do their best, though the man 
who does not is not a genuine cricketer, and is probably a selfish 
animal. Such conscientious fielding as this gets very little recog- 
nition, though it saves about one in every ten runs. Spectators 
do not observe ; the cricket reporters notice the features of 
the game that are obvious to only ignorant spectators, and 
they do not waste ink upon it ; but any really judicious captain 
estimates it very highly. No doubt a flashy field is very useful at 
cover-point ; he cramps all the runs on the off side, and covers 
the defects of a third-rate mid-orT; but very often these are 
just the men who shirk the burden, heat and hard work of the 
day, as we may call these repeated excursions of fifty yards or 
so under a strong sun. Cover-point should learn, if possible, 

26o • CRICKET. 

the under-hand throw practised with such success by the late 
Rev. W. Law and G. J. Mordaunt. He has to back up behind 
mid-off when mid-on or the deep-on fields are throwing in, and 
behind point when short-leg and long-leg throw to the wicket- 


Success in this place depends almost entirely on natural gifts, 
and there are two distinctly different methods of first-class 
fielding in this place. One is the point, who seems nearly to 
have solved the problem of perpetual motion, and bounds about 
everywhere, rushing in at one ball and right in front of the 
wicket to the next, but whose first position is closer in than 
more stationary fields at the same place. The other variety of 
point stands a yard or two further from the wicket and is more 
stationary, and his specialty consists in being a grabber of 
every ball within his reach. The right way of standing is shown 
in the figure opposite. There are plenty of good fields at point 
who stand differently from this, but we are trying to teach those 
who are not good fields, and we think that this figure is a good 
position. The important point to observe is that you can move 
quicker when one foot is drawn a little behind the other, and 
Carpenter and other good fields used always to stand thus. 
Some critics would say that point ought to stoop more, and no 
doubt some good points do. Each must choose his own eleva- 
tion as far as this goes, but we feel sure that a great many balls 
go over the point's head when he stoops very much, and that 
on the whole the figure shows the best stoop. The stationary 
and the restless both have their merits and both have their 
characteristics. The tall man with a long reach nearly always 
adopts the stationary position, and no hit is too hard for him to 
face. Of course he ought to stand ready to start quickly, but 
his business consists in covering as much ground as possible 
from very nearly one position, and he must have a good aptitude 
for getting his hand in the right place to stop the ball. 



The position of point ought to be in a line with the wicket, 
and at a distance depending entirely on the pace of bowler, 
style of batsman, and condition of ground. The faster the 
bowler and the ground, the further off the wicket ought point 
to stand, but in no case ought he to be more than eight yards 
away. Some points make a great mistake in standing further 


than this, for a very common catch at point is when a bumping 
ball rises off the batsman's glove and pitches about four yards 
from the wicket in the direction of point — a certain catch if 
point is fielding in his right place, but impossible to get at if 
he stands too far from the wicket. There is no limit on certain 
grounds and to certain batsmen to the closeness to the wicket 


which an active point will stand. The ball has been taken 
literally almost off the bat. We think, on the whole, that 
the fieldsman who stands nearly in the same position till the 
ball is hit, who is quick in starting, and very sure and ready 
to face and stop a real ' hot-un,' is more valuable than 
the restless point who runs here and there, and rarely adopts 
the same position for two consecutive balls. There is, how- 
ever, much to be said for both styles ; but we feel very sure 
that the restless point must first acquire a certain faculty of 
more or less correctly judging where the batsman is likely to hit 
the ball, or else he will be always rushing to the wrong place. 

There is a combination of circumstances which induces 
modern captains to put their point right forward on the off 
side about eight yards from the wicket. The circumstances 
required include a batsman who has got a peculiar forward style, 
a bowler whose balls are inclined to hang or get up straight 
from the pitch, and lastly a catchy wicket where the balls are 
apt to bump and hang. It is a very useful place sometimes, 
but most dangerous to the field at other times. In the Aus- 
tralian and England match at the Oval in 1880, Morley was 
bowling, McDonnell was batting. The ball now and then 
bumped up, and the English captain acceded to W. G. Grace's 
wish and allowed him to go forward point, or, as it is familiarly 
called, ' silly ' point. Now McDonnell is one of the hardest 
hitters in the world, and Morley used sometimes to bowl a ball 
a little over-tossed. A ball of a certain length mighthave been 
bowled that McDonnell might not have smothered at the pitch, 
and the requisite hang having taken place, W. G. Grace might 
have triumphed. But unfortunately, before this consummation 
took place, McDonnell got a ball admirably adapted to his 
extremely powerful off drive. The well-known musical sound 
of a bat hitting the ball plump was heard, then a second knock 
higher in its musical pitch and nearly as loud, the ball was 
seen about twenty yards high in the air, and McDonnell easily 
scored a run. What really happened was this : McDonnell 


made a grand hit all along the ground, and long before the 
burly form of W. G. Grace had unbent itself, the aforesaid 
ball had struck his toe, which offered a strictly passive, be- 
cause involuntary, resistance, which such violence that the ball 
ascended into the air like a rocket, and a run was the result. 
W. G. walked slowly, a wiser man, to his old position on 
a line with the wicket, and probably in his inmost thought 
silently adopted the opinion that the position of ■ silly point ' 
is only feasible when a batsman of a style directly opposite to 
that of McDonnell is at the wicket. But this forward point 
is very useful at times, and should be made use of when 
circumstances are favourable. The late Mr. R. A. Fitzgerald, 
in his well-known book ' Jerks in from Short-leg,' says that if 
there is no good field at point in an eleven, the captain 
should choose the fattest man, for nature makes it impossible 
for him to get out of the way of a hard hit. In other words, 
it sometimes strikes him in the most prominent part of his 
person and saves four runs. Perhaps Roger Iddison, of York- 
shire fame, who died in the year 1890, could have testified to 
the truth of this remark, and perhaps Mr. Key will take to the 
position in the maturity of his cricket life. 


ought first of all to be as vigilant as if he were keeping wicket. 
If he is so, and knows where to stand, he will find it the easiest 
place in the field ; if he is not, it will be the hardest. Wicket- 
keepers ought always to be able to field short-slip, for it is a 
post that has all the pleasant moments of wicket-keeping with 
none of the knocks and bruises and other discomforts of that 
important place. Stoop as the ball is in the air, and hold the 
hands ready forward, as shown in figure on p. 264. This posi- 
tion is necessary because many more balls hiss low along the 
grass than rise into the air from a snick, and if they do rise 
short- slip can rise too and be in time for them ; but if he has to 



stoop he will be too late. So for fast bowling stand finer than 
most short-slips do, and if the ground is very hard keep a long 
way off— eight yards is often not too long a distance. But the 
difficulty in this respect is much greater when the bowling is 
slow. A late cut adds materially to the speed of a slow ball, 
though it has scarcely any effect on a fast one. But if, instead 


of cutting, a batsman plays forward and snicks a slow ball, a 
gentle catch comes at a medium height and drops short. Short- 
slip must then regulate his position accordingly. When he sees 
the batsman lean forward he must advance one step ; when the 
batsman hangs back and the ball is on the off side he should 
hang back too and hold the hands low; for assuredly if anything 
comes it will be a hard low catch. He should study the slow 


bowler's action so as to know when his fast balls are coming, 
and drop back. He should also ponder on the pace of the 
ground, and never forget that wet on the top of a hard ground 
makes the fastest surface of any : in these circumstances, there- 
fore, he should stand finer and deeper. When the rain soaks 
in, the balls pop, and catches come slower and higher. Short- 
slip should back up when balls are thrown, not from short- 
nor from long-leg, but from mid-on and mid-off and cover- 
point, and should run across, when there is a run to third man, 
between the wicket-keeper and short-leg. This last is a tiring 
and often unremunerative process, but if done through a long 
innings is in the highest degree commendable. Short-slip 
must also run up to the wicket and take the place of the 
wicket-keeper when the latter has usurped the functions of an 
ordinary fieldsman and left his post to pick up and throw in 
the ball to the wicket. 


This is another most scientific post, and one in which a bad 
fieldsman is very much out of place. First, there is the twist. 
It is worth knowing respecting a twist from a bat, that if the 
ground is hard and the cut clean, the ball will not twist till it 
has lost some of its impetus. Consequently stand straight in 
the line of a hard cut on a smooth ground, as the ball, though 
it is spinning all the time, will not curl till it is some way past 
third man. But if the turf is soft the ball bites and curls on 
the second or third bound, seldom on the first unless the stroke 
is a very slow one. The same holds good with iegard to long- 
leg. The batsman, if he were a genuine judge of a run, would 
always ' run' to third man when the spin is likely to act at once, 
since under those conditions the ball wants so much watching 
that third man cannot well return it in time. But many bats- 
men do not know these things. 

With regard to the distance of third man from the wicket, 
it is important that he should judge it according as the batsmen 


are good runners or not. He should estimate this at once 
from their appearance and demeanour, standing well out if they 
are men of weight and dignity, and nearer in if they are active 
and inclined to steal runs. After they have run one run to him 
he should come a yard nearer in, feeling like a man who has 
had a personal insult offered him, and is burning to avenge it. 
Lastly, he has to consider the throw-in. // is nearly always 
best to throw to the bowler's wicket (assuming, of course, that he 
is ready behind the stumps and mid-on is backing up), for this 
plain reason: it is generally the non-striker who calls the run, 
and consequently starts the quickest, runs quickest, as he sees 
the danger before him, and gets home the quickest. Even 
if he does not call the run, he is backing up, and starts un- 
shackled by having made a stroke. So leave him alone. The 
striker, on the contrary, has made a stroke (and one that throws 
him back a good deal), is not backing up, and does not see the 
danger. Also, if he runs by the shortest way to the other 
wicket, he will very likely be cut over. Circumstances, in 
short, are against him. Above all, he seldom suspects that the 
ball is coming his way, for very few third men ever throw to 
the right wicket, very few bowlers are behind the stumps, and 
very few mid-ons back up. Third man should stand squarer 
for a strong cutter than for a weak one. He should back up 
behind short-slip when the ball comes from mid-on, and ar- 
range with cover-point as to the throws from short-leg, himself 
covering point when the throws come from in front of the 
wicket, and cover-point taking that place when they come from 


is an important place for backing up and saving singles. It is 
a good plan to put a left-handed man here, as he can better 
command the strokes between himself and mid-on, which are 
generally s© prolific of runs. Having fielded one of these, he 
ought not to throw to the wicket-keeper, as he is already facing 
the bowler's wicket, and the bowler's wicket is facing him, should 


he wish to throw it down. He should of course previously 
make a league with mid-off as to the backing up. The late 
Mr. R. A. Fitzgerald, in the book just mentioned, ' Jerks in from 
Short-leg,' once urged the importance of putting the * witty man ' 
short-leg as a convenient spot for cracking jokes. Certainly 
conversation in the field is often of great service towards keep- 
ing the men brisk. Short-leg has to back up all the returns from 
the off side, dropping well back if short-slip comes across for 
this purpose, and in any case leaving ten or fifteen yards between 
himself and the wicket. A captain of an eleven feels himself 
very often bound by an unwritten tradition to put the notori- 
ously worst field in his eleven short-leg. No doubt it is ex- 
ceedingly difficult to judge which is the natural position for a 
bad field, but we unhesitatingly say that several matches have 
been lost by bad fields at short-leg. In the days of his prime 
people used to watch W. G. Grace playing ball after ball in the 
direction of short-leg, especially when left-handed bowlers were 
on. The late famous J. C. Shaw was not a good field in any 
sense of the word ; he was consequently often to be seen fielding 
at short-leg, and we wonder how many times he has missed 
W. G. Grace in that position ? Missing Grace was, and is still, 
a most expensive mistake. There are several players who are 
weak in their play off their legs, and these players are continu- 
ally sending chances to short-leg, while other players are ex- 
tremely fond of playing off their legs, and score very heavily by 
the stroke ; and it is wonderful to see how many runs a quick 
field will save when such men are batting. 


In these days of slow bowling and fine turf captains of 
elevens do not bother themselves with providing long-stops at 
all. Wicket-keepers are so good, the bowling is so straight, that, 
in the present year (1898), it is impossible to say who is the 
best long-stop in England, for the simple reason that no long- 
stops are wanted. But in the days of yore, every schoolboy 


who was fond of cricket could tell you of the prowess of 
Mortlock, H. M. Marshall, and A. Diver. Mr. Powys was a 
splendid bowler, and so was Mr. R. Lang. But had not 
Mr. H. M. Marshall been found to stop Mr. Lang's balls, and 
Mr. F. Tobin those of Mr. Powys, neither one bowler nor the 
other could have been put on at all. Such long-stops as these 
stand rather on the leg side, and if the bowling is very fast, 
just deep enough to take the ball as it rises after its second 
pitch. This is not easy to do, and young hands feel tempted 
to leave more room. But this, when the ball is very swift, 
scarcely diminishes its speed at all, and the further off long-stop 
stands, the more chance there is of the ball bounding awkwardly 
by the time it reaches him. Long-stop, however, would be in 
an awkward position if the batsmen ran every bye that is possible. 
To prevent their doing so, he must throw over to the bowler, 
for the old reason that the striker has the whole distance to run 
and has his back to the danger. Again, a hard throw, straight 
down the pitch, places both batsmen in jeopardy, the striker 
especially, and that is why he so often runs with his hand to the 
back of his head, of course retarding his speed by so doing. 
It is a harassing run to steal; and that, combined with the fact 
that it is not scored to either batsman, is doubtless the reason 
why it is not oftener stolen. Long-stop should accordingly be 
a strong thrower, and mid-off a conscientious backer-up. Long- 
stop should back up (behind short-leg) the returns from cover- 
point and mid-off. 

Before concluding these technical remarks, let us draw atten- 
tion to one or two circumstances connected with cricket affairs 
now which are different from what they were formerly. We have 
said that in these days long-stopping is a lost art, or rather it is 
not an art that is required in modern elevens. It would ap- 
pear miraculous to an old cricketer who had seen nothing of 
the game for the last fifteen years could he watch Spofforth 
bowling, and Blackham keeping wicket with no long-stop, when 
the ground was hard. Such a thing would not have been dreamt 


of twenty years ago. Then a ball used to shoot five or six 
times in an innings of 135 runs, and the occasional shooter that 
occurs now always results in four byes if it escapes the bat and 
the wicket. Hence one important reason why formerly a long- 
stop was indispensable. Though there are or were, a very few 
years since, some very fast bowlers, the average pace now-a-days 
is far slower than twenty-five years ago, and that is another 
reason for dispensing with long-stop. But the change of tactics 
in not having a long-stop has had one effect that we regard as 
pernicious, and that is, that it has spoilt one part of the skill of 
wicket-keeping, and on the whole worked an enormous change 
for the worse in the fielding of short-slips generally. The long- 
stop is not there, both wicket-keeper and short-slip are con- 
scious of this, and they are aware that his place must be 
filled up by themselves. If a ball goes in the least to leg, even 
if it only just misses leg-stump, short-slip is usually to be seen 
backing up the wicket-keeper; for four byes make an appreciable 
addition to the score. But though the ball is on the leg side, 
it is quite possible for the batsman to hit it on the on side, and 
send it straight to short-slip's hands, if he only could have been 
in his proper place. He is abused if he does not back up the 
wicket-keeper, and in any case the mere feeling that runs must 
result from the wicket-keeper not handling the ball makes it 
impossible for him to give his undivided attention to fielding 
at short-slip proper. He is continually shifting towards his left 
hand, and numerous balls that he would have fielded if only 
there had been a long-stop, now result in runs. The wicket- 
keeper is also in more danger of being hurt, and as his position 
is necessarily one attended by extreme responsibility and con- 
siderable pain, this further danger ought to be spared him if 
possible. The risks he runs are from fast balls outside the bats- 
man's legs. He cannot see the ball accurately so that he may 
judge where to put his hands without moving his feet ; in order, 
then, to prevent the ball going to the ropes, he has to rush right 
in front of it, at the risk, if the ball should bump or do anything 
odd, of getting hit on the face or elsewhere. If a long-stop 


were behind him, he would try and take the ball for the sake of 
a possible catch or stump-out, but he would not expose himself 
to danger by getting in front of it. 

Two corollaries must be drawn from what has been already 
said. The first is that the bowler should be just as prepared 
to receive a throw-in as the wicket-keeper. When both wickets 
are menaced, the danger of a short run is doubled, and an over- 
throw is oftener due to the bowler and backer-up than to the 
field. But it is said % This is all very fine, but the bowler cannot 
get behind his wicket in time.' No assertion could be wider 
of the mark. Take some genuine cricketer as an example, 
and no better one could be chosen than Mr. A. W. Ridley, 
some sixteen years ago. Lob -bowlers follow their own ball 
further down the wicket than any other kind of bowler, and of 
all lob-bowlers Mr. Ridley did this the most. But no one has 
ever seen a short run got offhis bowling, without, at least, at the 
same moment seeing him dart behind the wicket, and be ready 
to put down the hardest throw anyone might send to him. He 
is always there in time, and any bowler in the country might do 
the same if he were cricketer enough to see what is wanted. 
The second inference to be drawn is, that it is highly important 
to pursue a medium hit with all possible speed, and to throw 
it in as if it burnt the fingers to retain the ball a moment. We 
do not remember an eleven who neglected this less, as a whole, 
than the Players eleven of the year 1887, and the number of 
runs that can be saved by observance of the rule is immense. 

These are the two most important directions which can be 
given to any young cricketer, and especially to any young captain 
of a side, in order that he may select his men with a view to 
these requirements of the game. The general fielding capacity 
of a whole team depends on the attention devoted to such dull 
points by the eleven minds, not less than on the suppleness oi 
the eleven backbones. No directions, it has already been said, 
will make a bad field into a good one. But it is equally true 
that no advice should be offered which cannot be acted upon. 
Consequently only some duties of a fieldsman have been 


described. But it is not too much to say that a careful atten- 
tion to these points would ultimately turn eleven indifferent 
cricket players into a good fielding team. 

In a work necessarily somewhat didactic as this is, it may 
be advisable to remind youngsters that the finger of scorn is 
pointed even more to the very bad field than it is to the very 
bad batsman or bowler. A very bad bowler will not be asked 
to bowl unless the bowling is hit into a thoroughly entangled 
knot — as was the case in an Australian v. England match in 
1884, when every member of the English team, including 
Shrewsbury, had to bowl — and then, if he fails, he has only done 
what was expected of him. But it is difficult for anybody to 
explain, except on the ground of gross carelessness, how a man 
who is a good bat or bowler can be so utterly useless as a field 
as some have turned out to be. The cricketer who nevei 
appears to have grasped the rudiments of the laws concerning 
twist, who is lazy and will not run after the ball, and who hardly 
by accident holds a catch, is an eyesore in cricket. And let u? 
also assure the young practitioner that an intelligent audience, 
though a somewhat rough one, such as you may see at places 
like Bramall Lane, Sheffield, will jeer in audible and not too 
polite tones at the bad field long before it will do the like at 
bad batsmen or bowlers. Every cricketer knows the different 
eccentricities of indifferent fields, their wonderful varieties of 
error, and the specious appearance of some that fatally delude the 
most patient captain. There are some men who are fairly fast 
runners, and can throw hard, and yet are fields of a character 
to make angels weep. They dash in at the ball like a man 
charging at football, with the result that they half stop it, or, 
after they stop it, in attempting to pick it up, they kick it 
eight or ten yards behind them. They never seem to be 
able to judge what sort of length the ball will come intc 
their hands, and never under any circumstances is the ball 
cleanly handled. And yet they go at it so heartily, they 
move so quickly, and, at first sight, look so alert and full 
of promise, that it is difficult to condemn them until you have 


had two or three days' experience of them. This sort belongs 
to the class we call the specious fieldsman. Then there, is 
the man who might look at a batsman for two hours and yet 
never discover where his favourite stroke is likely to go, who 
obeys orders strictly, and when he has taken up the position 
assigned to him, stands there like a tree, despite the fact that 
every ball hit in his direction is a little too much on his right 
or on his left hand. This individual may safely be assumed 
to be a creature of a low order of intelligence, to whom 
Providence has probably vouchsafed a natural instinct for 
bowling, in the absence of which he would never be seen on 
any cricket-ground again, except as a spectator. He is so 
stupid that he never can excel in batting. Then there is 
the man who is very slow and has not acquired the merit of 
being what may be called an eminently safe field. His position 
when endeavouring to stop the ball is that illustrated by the 
figure on the opposite page, which shows what is essentially the 
wrong position to assume. Probably he will not touch the ball 
with his hands, and it certainly cannot be stopped by his legs 
or feet. He can hold a catch sometimes and stop a ball occa- 
sionally, but he does not succeed in these two particulars often 
enough to make one forget or forgive his extraordinary slowness. 
Another variety is the man who fields tolerably well sometimes, 
but, when he fails to stop a ball, either runs after it very slowly, 
which is the sulky form, or else dashes after it and throws it 
wildly and very hard anywhere, causing overthrows by the 
dozen, and maiming his comrades' fingers. This is the angry 
form — an odious type ; let every youngster beware of such and 
develop not into it. Every cricketer ought to try to become as 
good a field as he can by assiduous practice — for this reason, 
if for no other : bowlers get disorganised when the fielding is 

A natural curiosity is always evinced where a critic shows 
a tendency to name certain celebrities in any form of game. 
This is the reason why we now proceed to praise famous men 
and famous fielding elevens; but let us add that we do not pro- 



fess to name every good man who has ever fielded, and can 
only beg for forgiveness if we omit to mention some who have 
deserved recognition. 

The various Australian elevens have earned great fame for 
their fielding in England, and it was no doubt very good. At 
the same time we think it was not so good as their batting, and 
certainly not so good as their bowling. The elevens of 1882 
and 1884, which were the best, no doubt won their matches 
by all-round play ; but if we had to name a weak point we should 
say that, as compared with the batting and bowling, it was 
their fielding, although this was very good. The Australians 

The wrong position for stopping the ball. 

themselves say— at least, so we have heard — that the fielding 
in Australia of the Hon. Ivo Bligh's eleven was never surpassed 
in the colony; and that must be high praise. Still, judging 
by what we know of that team, we think that we can point 
out higher standards in England. The finest fielding we have 
ever seen was that of the Players in 1887 in their annual 
match at Lord's against the Gentlemen, and at the Oval 
it was nearly as good. But that was only for two matches. 
As is natural, University teams, from their youth and habit 
of playing together, have earned great fame as fielding 


elevens, and if we had to select four elevens whose fielding 
reputation ought to be inscribed on the highest pinnacles of 
fame, we should name the Cambridge representatives of 1861 
and 1862 and the Oxford of 1874 and 1875. 

The Cambridge celebrities of 1861 and 1862 have faded 
away into distance, and the present generation know not their 
names. Both those elevens had several fast bowlers in them, 
and one — Mr. R. Lang — was superlatively good. It was owing 
to this fact that Cambridge had to provide itself with a long- 
stop, and Mr. H. M. Marshall in that capacity has earned un- 
dying fame; for long-stopping on Lord's Ground in 1861 
and 1862 was no laughing matter. As general out-field 
Mr. Marshall also stood very high, and was a perfectly safe 
catch. Contemporary cricketers of that day are nearly unani- 
mous in their praise of Mr. W. Bury as a fieldsman ; at long- 
leg he has never been excelled. There were besides these 
the Hon. C. G. Lyttelton at point, and Mr. R. Lang at short- 
slip. ' Bell's Life ' of that date mentions as a fact that the 
fielding of Cambridge in the University match of 1862 was 
never equalled on Lord's or any other ground. Those were 
the days when the bowling was mainly fast, the ground rough, 
and the cautious safe field who got stolidly and fixedly in a 
certain position was often defeated owing to the ball making 
unspeakable bounds. It required a touch of genius to be a 
grand field at Lord's in those times, and several members of 
those two Cambridge elevens possessed it. The two Oxford 
elevens of 1874 and 1875 had each only one fast bowler, 
but they had magnificent fielding teams to support their 
slow bowlers. When the bowling is generally slow, amateur 
wicket-keepers can hold their own. This was the case in 
1874 and 1875, and in Mr. H. G. Tylecote Oxford pos- 
sessed a wicket-keeper fully up to the mark for the work he 
had to do. It used to be a bone of contention between 
Messrs. W. Law and A. W. Ridley, the captains respectively 
of '74 and '75, as to which of the two elevens was the greater 
in this particular line of fielding. Mr. Law, whose early death 


everyone who knew him deplores, contended that his eleven in 
1874 made no mistake in the Inter-University match, whereas 
the 1875 eleven did. But the Cambridge batting in 1874 was 
fatuous to a degree, and the Oxford eleven had nothing to 
stop, whereas Cambridge in 1875 batted very well and kept 
their opponents hard at it. We are willing to give equal credit 
to each, and to enshrine the names of Law, Game, Ridley, 
T. B. Jones, and Royle in the temple of fame 

It is not easy to gauge the merits of the fieldsmen of 
forty years ago. Some of them have made their names live : 
Mr. T. A. Anson as wicket-keeper, Mr. R. T. King at point, 
and the famous W. Pickering at cover-point, for instance. But, 
though they had rougher ground to field on, still the scoring 
was nothing like so large, matches were not nearly so nume- 
rous, and the wear and tear far from being so great. The 
first thing that strikes one on reading over old scores and com- 
paring them with those of the present day, is the enormous 
number of extras that were then given. Bowlers were, no 
doubt, faster, but they bowled many more wides. Taking 
one year at random, 1880, we find that for the whole season 
Yorkshire in all matches only bowled eight wides, five of which 
were delivered by the famous Tom Emmett, who is, no doubt, 
a slightly erratic bowler. In the days of Redgate and Mynn 
the wides were numerous, so were the no-balls, and frequently 
the extras contributed more to the total than any one bats- 
man. If the bowling was fast and erratic, one cannot wonder 
that byes became numerous, especially when the rough ground 
is also considered. In the University match of 1841 Oxford 
gave Cambridge 56 extras out of a combined total of 223 — a 
very large average. In 1887 Cambridge only gave Oxford 
14 extras in a combined total of 461, and Oxford lost but 
three wickets in the second innings. In the same year 
Oxford gave Cambridge only 20 extras in a grand total of 
459. Though bowling is generally slower now than forty 
years ago, still in former days they used to have long- stops 
to bowling that even amateur wicket-keepers would now 


stop. The long-stopping wicket-keeper — that is, the wicket- 
keeper that lets nothing pass him — is a marvellous testimony to 
the excellence of modern grounds, the accuracy of modern 
bowling, and the skill of the men themselves. The sight of 
Blackham, standing close up to the wicket, stopping Spofforth 
and Palmer would have made our forefathers look on aghast. 
In the well-known print of the Sussex and Kent match in 
1840, old Lillywhite is bowling, and he was a slow medium- 
pace bowler ; yet, though Tom Box was reckoned the best 
wicket-keeper of the day, he has a long-stop to Lillywhite's 

We may now try to enumerate the greater fields of cricket 
history. We read of the marvellous feat of Mr. T. A. Anson 
at the wicket, when he stumped a man off a leg-shooter of 
Alfred Mynn, one of the fastest bowlers of the period. We 
yield the place of honour to Mr. Anson for an individual 
feat, but it is alleged to have taken place a long time ago, and 
is it certain to be true? The greatest wicket-keepers since i860 
in England have been Lockyer, Pooley, Pilling, Pinder, Storer, 
Lilley, and D. Hunter; and we ask Plumb and Sherwin to 
forgive us. It is not easy to discriminate between these ; we 
merely remark that to genuine slows of the pace of Southerton, 
Peate, and Tyler, we reckon Pooley to have been the best that 
ever lived ; and to the very fast, Pinder and Storer were un- 
equalled. Still Pooley was relatively not so good to fast, nor 
Pinder to slow ; and, on the whole, they may be left on an 
equality. The best wicket-keepers of old days were Mr. 
Herbert Jenner, Mr. T. A. Anson, Mr. W. Ridding, and 
Mr. W. Nicholson among amateurs, and E. G. Wenman and 
Tom Box among professionals. The two best English amateur 
wicket-keepers that ever lived, in our opinion, are Mr. Alfred 
Lyttelton and Mr. McGregor, and besides them, since i860, 
there have been Mr. Leatham, Mr. Bush, Mr. Newton, Mr. 
E. F. S. Tylecote, Mr. Philipson, Mr. Kemble, and Mr. Gay. 

Perhaps a word would not be out of place here respect- 
ing Mr. Blackham, the celebrated Australian wicket-keeper. 
When the Colonial Eleven came over in 1878, 1880, 1882, and 


1 884, practically the whole of the wicket-keeping had to be done 
by Mr. Blackham. In 1880 and 1886 Mr. Jarvis assisted him. 
Now wicket-keeping is essentially an amusement you can have 
too much of. In old days, when there was a lot of fast bowl- 
ing, the cream of the wicket-keeping used to be seen during 
the first six weeks of the season, because during that time 
the hands of the wicket-keeper were more or less sound. The 
famous George Pinder, at the beginning of his career, had 
faster bowling to keep to consistently than any other cricketer 
before or since. Freeman, Emmett, and Atkinson were three 
very fast bowlers, and they all three played for Yorkshire, and 
after them came Hill and Ulyett. Pinder in consequence 
very frequently damaged his hands, and no wonder. Black- 
ham, however, during all the four years we have mentioned, 
had SporTorth and either Garratt or Palmer to stop. Now 
although these were not so fast as the Yorkshire lot, they 
bowled a goodish pace ; the Australian season consisted of two 
matches a week from the beginning to the end of the cricket 
year, and Blackham did not get very many days off. When his 
record is examined, therefore, we think that his performances 
during these four years constitute the greatest wicket-keeping 
feats on record. Not unless Spofforth bowled his fastest did 
he ever have a long-stop, and he held his hands closer to the 
wicket than any other wicket-keeper we ever saw. If the bats- 
man was an inch out of his ground for a second or so, the ball 
would be put down, and a stump-out resulted, for the hands 
had no distance to travel, and no time was lost. Of course 
the bowling he had to stop was very accurate, but when the 
amount of wicket-keeping that he had to go through and the 
number of wickets he got are considered, our opinion is that 
Mr. Blackham was the finest wicket-keeper to bowling of all 
paces that the world has ever seen. 

There have been numerous fieldsmen at point who have 
made themselves a name, and by universal testimony, in his 
day, Mr. R. T. King, of Cambridge University, was not 
approached in excellence in this position. The late Mr. John 
Walker, who was intimately acquainted with cricket of that 


period as well as with that of a later date, once told the writer 
that in his opinion none of the modern points ever came quite 
up to Mr. King's level. Since i860 Carpenter, R. C. Tinley, 
E. M. Grace, and F. W. Wright have earned high reputations 
in this position, but a great many excel at point, and in the 
University match alone there has been some admirable fielding 
here ; the Hon. J. W. Mansfield for Cambridge, and Mr. Hild- 
yard for Oxford, both being very good. The place where good 
fielding is most conspicuous is midway between cover-point 
and mid-off, and with this post the name of Mr. G. B. Studd is 
for ever identified. In later days, Briggs, Moorhouse, Gregory 
the Australian, Mr. Andrews of Sussex, and Wainwright excel 
in this place. Mr. Royle at cover-point has never been 
excelled, and the same may be said of Gunn at third man. 
The celebrated fieldsmen of old were Mr. W. Pickering at 
cover-point ; John Bickley and Mr. R. Lang at short-slip ; 
Mr. E. S. E. Hartopp, Mr. H. M. Marshall, W. Pilch, A. 
Diver, W. Mortlock, and J. Thewlis at long-stop ; while F. 
Bell, W. Bury, John Smith, and A. Lubbock were excellent 
at a distance from the wicket. There have been also, and 
are, many fields who were and are good at any place ; for 
instance, the renowned Mr. V. E. Walker, and the still more 
famous Mr. W. G. Grace. We have said before, and we say 
it again, that the fielding, though probably as good as ever it 
was, is not so good as it ought to be. The nuisance of the 
day is the long scoring ; we wonder how many innings of 100 
are played where you do not read the well-known remark, ' the 
batsman gave a chance at 24, another at 62, and a third just 
before he was out, but none the less he played a fine innings.' 
The following brief epigram is undoubtedly true — ■ Good field- 
ing makes weak bowling strong and strong batsmen weak.' 
An eleven that is really Ai in fielding very rarely has to field 
out for 300 runs. When we say this we feel inclined to go 
further and add that if no feasible catches are dropped this 
total of 300 runs would not be of anything but the rarest occur- 
rence. This fact ought of itself to be sufficient to make every 
true cricketer try and become, if not a brilliant field, at any 



rate one who, when a catch is sent him, does not cause a thrill 
of agonising anxiety to arise in the minds of the supporters of 
the side to which he belongs. 

An anxious moment. 

2 8o CRICKET. 



(By F. Gale.) 

I can remember the first cricket match I ever saw as well as if 
it happened yesterday; and moreover I can give the names 
and description of many of the players. 

The locus in quo was the meadow opposite the Green Lion 
at Rainham, in Kent, which is situated halfway between London 
and Dover. The cricket field is now built over. It adjoined 
the vicarage garden, in which a stand was erected for my brother 
and myself, and from which we, as little boys, saw the first game 
of cricket we ever witnessed, in the summer of 1830, as we 
had come into Kent from a Wiltshire village where cricket was 
not known. 

Our grand stand was immediately behind the wicket. 
Farmer Miles, a fine-set-up man, was the best bowler, and he 
bowled under-arm, rather a quick medium pace, and pitched a 
good length and bowled very straight, his balls curling in from 
the leg ; for be it remembered that but two years had elapsed 
since it was allowable to turn the hand, knuckles uppermost, in 
delivery. I was seven years old at the time, and was perfectly 
fascinated at the sight ; and as the gardener, an old cricketer, 
stood by me all day and explained the game, before the sun 
had set I had mastered most of the main points in it. One 
thing I am certain of, which is that there was an on-break from 
Farmer Miles' bowling ; for I watched the balls pitch and curl. 

The dress of the cricketers was white duck trousers and 
flannel jackets, and some wore tall black hats and some large 

— .-- v^T 


straw hats. A few old fogies, veterans who played, had a silk 
pocket-handkerchief tied round the left knee so that they could 
drop down on it without soiling their white trousers ; for in 
the rough out-fielding when the balls jumped about anyhow 
old-fashioned fieldsmen would drop on one knee, so that if 
the ball went through their hands by a false bound their body 
was in the way. Josiah Taylor, the brazier, was long- stop, and 
played in black leather slippers with one spike in the heel 
which he claimed as his own invention, as cricket-shoes were 
little known. The umpire was Ost, the barber, who appeared in 
a long blue frock-coat like Logic's, the Oxonian, in ' Tom and 
Jerry,' and who volunteered ' hout ' to a fieldsman who stopped 
a bump-ball ; and when remonstrated with by men of both 
sides remarked, 'Surely first "bounce" is "hout" at cricket 
and trap.' This occasioned a change of umpire. There were 
two very hard hitters, Charles Smart, a tall young fellow, son 
of a rich farmer, and ' Billy Wakley,' a very stout tall young 
farmer ; there were many hits to the long-field off and on, which 
were well held ; and Charles Watson, a promising lad of about 
sixteen, the butcher's son, who played for the first time in a 
man's match, immortalised himself by making a long catch close 
to the vicarage hedge. The batting mostly consisted of hard- 
hitting, and the catching was good. The booth was made up of 
rick-cloths strained over a standing skeleton woodwork frame ; 
and on the right of it was a round table with six or eight arm- 
chairs placed on either side ; a large brass square tobacco-box 
out of which those who sat round the privileged table could 
help themselves by putting a halfpenny into a slit which caused 
the box to open (on the same principle as the chocolate and 
sweet-stuff automatic pillars seen now at railway stations), kept 
company with a stack of clay-pipes. The arm-chairs were for 
the accommodation of the principal farmers and magnates of the 
parish who subscribed to the matches and who sat in state and 
smoked their pipes— as cigars were little known — and drank 
their grog out of rummers — large glasses which stood on one 
gouty leg each and held a shilling's worth of brandy and 


water ; and for the accommodation of the smokers, the ostler, 
who always appeared in his Sunday best costume, which con- 
sisted of a * Sam Weller ' waistcoat with black calico sleeves, 
brown drab breeches, and top-boots, provided a stable horn 
lanthorn, the candle in which he lit with the aid of the flint and 
steel tinder box, and brimstone matches ; for lucifers were not 
yet invented. 

Another honour belonged to the knights of the round table : 
as the cricket ground was bounded on the southern side by 
the high road, and as coaches were passing all day, the drivers 
never forgot the ' Coachman's Salute ' with whip and elbow and 
nod of the head as they drove by, and this was always returned 
by a cheery wave of the hand from the cricket ground. The 
patriarchs of the village had a form to themselves on the left 
hand of the booth ; and old Billy Coppin, the half-pay naval 
purser, who had a snug little house on the bank of the road- 
side, sat outside his door waving his pipe and crying out, ' Make 
sail, my lads, make sail,' whenever a good hit was made. 

When the match was over, one of the villagers, an ill- 
tempered thatcher, who was always ready for a set-to, picked 
a quarrel with someone from a neighbouring parish, and they 
adjourned to a quiet corner close to our grand stand behind the 
booth, pulled off their shirts and had a pretty stiff rough and 
tumble fight, which I described, in my innocence, at supper 
when I went in, and thereby got the gardener into a scrape for 
allowing me to see it. A very serious relative told me that she 
was * cock sure ' of the future fate of the two men who fought, 
quoting cases out of Dr. Watts's hymns.' Let us hope that 
some of the Doctor's tips have proved wrong. 

* Would you be surprised to hear,' as Lord Coleridge was 
always saying, that, with the exception that cricket has much 
improved as regards grounds and some of the implements in 
general use, old-fashioned village cricket in its true and pure 
spirit still flourishes in many rural districts, and not very far from 
London even, now ? You will find this happy state of things 
mostly where village greens exist in a real cricketing county ; 


and having formerly devoted much of my leisure, during very 
many years, to country cricket, I can speak from actual ex- 
perience, down to present date. 

In the first place, every village green has a history of its 
own, and the people are proud of their old traditions. On 
many of these greens some of the best-known cricketers in 
England have from time to time appeared during a century past, 
and some come there occasionally now during every summer ; so 
the cricketers of all classes have always had good models to 
work from. The green is common to all, and all have a common 
interest in the honour of the parish. This charming home 
feeling is admirably described by Miss Mitford in the ' Tales of 
our Village ; ' and she has not exaggerated it. The consequence 
is that by one consent the centre of the green is always left for 
good matches, and as every village boy learns the management 
of turf, you would be surprised to see what an admirable pitch 
youngsters of fourteen or fifteen years of age will make for 
themselves on somewhat rough ground with the aid of a five- 
pronged fork, a watering-pot and a hand-roller ; and you would 
be surprised to see what real good cricket many of them play. 
Of course there is always a sprinkling of sons of good cricketers 
who have been well taught, and they have the opportunity of 
instruction from old players. 

The training of village boys is very analogous to cricket 
fagging at school, and anyone who takes an interest in village 
cricket will do well, when he and a few friends practise, to have 
any little boys of twelve or thirteen who show any proficiency 
to field out for them, and to encourage them with a few coppers, 
making them understand that the honorarium is dependent on 
their trying to do their best. The next step is to take a lively 
interest in the boys' eleven, which consists of boys under four- 
teen or fifteen, to promote their matches in every way, and to 
inculcate the value of fair play. It does them a great deal of 
good if an old cricketer will spare half an hour, when the boys are 
practising, to criticise their play, pointing out any faults, such 
as running over the crease, bowling no balls, not backing up for 


a run, explaining to them the principles of running, and calling 
their partner (secrets which some really good batsmen never 
have learned and never will learn), and so on. The grand thing 
is to try and make cricket real, and to make youngsters under- 
stand that playing the strict game is the secret of true enjoy- 
ment. We all know how all pleasure depends on observance 
of simple rules, and on doing in practice all things as carefully 
as if we are engaged in a match, or any other friendly strife. 
Even if I play at ' beggar your neighbour ' with a child I insist 
on the rigour of the game. Many of us must know as cricketers, 
too, that long after we had given up playing in matches, there 
was immense pleasure in having a first-rate professional, on a 
real good wicket, to bowl, with sixpence on the wicket. 

The very mention of single wicket now is like the mention 
of jalap and rhubarb and calomel and bleeding, those terrible 
remedies of the past, to a modern doctor ; but single wicket 
with seven or eight in the field is the finest practice for training, 
and we found it so on our village green, a very few years ago, 
played thus. Every man's hand was against his neighbours in 
turn, and there were no sides. Of course, with six or seven in 
the field, byes and hits behind wicket counted, and this fact 
made the youngsters try to cover as much ground as possible. 
The batsman went out if he got ten runs j and as in these games 
there was, at least, one good professional bowler, it took a good 
man to score ten runs. The professional and any amateur who 
had any pretence of being a bowler changed about. These 
games were very good for putting a youngster into ; and I have 
seen three or four hundred people on the green watching one 
of these trials. It was also a good thing, in the event of a sub- 
stitute being wanted in a good match, to try one of them, as it 
accustomed an aspirant to accept responsibility and to play 
before a crowd. It is a wholesome state of things when young 
cricketers are at hand anxious to fill a vacancy ; it shows zeal. 

Anyone who has charge of village cricket falls very short 
of his duty if he does not arrange at least one real practice 
afternoon a day or two before a match. He must have a 


good wicket made, and all who are going to play in the match 
must come for some part of the play. And this is a good 
opportunity for letting young bowlers come and try their hand, 
with sixpence on the wicket. I have much faith in that six- 
pence on the wicket. It is useless to waste any trouble on a 
boy who has not got cricket at heart, but it is a great deal of 
use training one who has. The difficult stage is when a boy's 
strength is growing and he is old enough to be taught strict 
cricket as regards defence, and in trying to steady him down 
you must be sure to steer clear of the evil of cramping his hit* 
ting power. We know from experience that sometimes matches 
are lost or draws made owing to the want of a man who will go 
in and hit. In my boyhood days there used generally to be 
one, or perhaps two, in every eleven who could field splen- 
didly, and who made no pretence to scientific batting, but who, 
aided by a strong nerve and quick eye and a heavy driving bat, 
could sometimes make a terrible example of the bowling and 
help the score. Mr. Absolom, of Cambridge, and afterwards 
of the Kent eleven, was one of this class. He was worth play- 
ing in any eleven in England for his bowling, fielding and hard 
work, and if he never made his runs, hfe share towards 
success was as great as those who made a score. The thing to 
■ burn ' into a young player's mind is, that unless he can con- 
centrate all his thoughts on the match in which he is playing 
he will never be an English cricketer. He may, perhaps, by 
long practice acquire the knack of getting a lot of runs, and 
building up an average, but if that is all that he is worth, he 
had much better never have been in the eleven at all. Amongst 
eleven men, some are sure to get a lot of runs generally, but 
the men who win matches are those who prevent the other side 
getting them. Take one of the best samples of cricket in the 
season of 1887, as a proof of what saving runs means. I think 
that anyone who knows the game can hardly help coming to 
the conclusion that Gunn, in the long field, saved more runs in 
1887 than the best man made, and saved a good many more 
too. The Australians put their main trust in their field, and 


they taught us a good lesson when they came first, and it has 
done us good. Gunn's batting is often equal to his fielding, to 
say nothing of his bowling. 

Now we come to a more serious matter — management and 
finance ; and, unless the world has very much changed in the 
last few years, anyone who takes a new lead in country cricket 
will find himself surrounded by hosts of friends (?) who are 
worth nothing. They will all want to come on the committee, 
and make all kind of wild suggestions about a stock of club 
fcats, pads and gloves, &c. There is only one antidote to this, 
which is to stand firm on one point — that no public subscrip- 
tions shall be asked for for any purpose other than keeping 
the green in order, paying for balls for matches, match-stumps, 
hire of tents, umpires, scorers, and other inevitable expenses j 
the simple inducement for subscriptions being the having a 
few good matches during the season, and keeping up a ground 
for the use of those who cannot pay for themselves. Unless 
you keep up a good parish eleven, everyone will do as he 
thinks best, and the whole green will be cut to pieces and 
will never be repaired. 

In these days you cannot get an eleven who will make a 
good stand in a match without some professional training. 
Many places are fortunate enough to have an old professional 
or two amongst its inmates, men who have given up grand public 
matches, but who are worth their weight in gold as practice 
bowlers, trainers, and members of the village eleven. Men of 
this class, who will play in a match for ten shillings or will come 
in the evening after work for a crown or so, and who are always 
on the spot, are the best aids towards keeping together a good 
set of young players and forming an eleven. They know the 
young players and take a pride in them, and will find out their 
failings and good points ; and nothing cheers a captain more 
than an invitation from a local professional to come and see 
Bill Smith or Tom Brown bat. When such an invitation is 
given, you may be sure that the professional has found a recruit 
who can play a length ball with a straight bat and confidence, 


and who can punish a loose ball. You will find numberless 
cricketers who can get runs — if they once get set ; but, like 
precious stones, many get spoilt in the setting. What you want 
is batsmen who, in wet or fine weather, on rough or smooth 
ground, will go in with nerve to have a good try. If you want 
a few runs to-day from A, and he breaks down through that 
cricket malady called ' funk,' it is no consolation to hear from 
his claqueur B that ' A got seventy, not out, last week.' 

You must try and raise the standard of a village eleven by 
letting them play when you have the chance against teams who 
are stronger than themselves. A licking is good medicine 
for them sometimes ; and if, on the other hand, they win by 
the chances of the game, a victory of this kind 'sets their tails 
up.' The worst thing for them is playing against weak teams, 
making a tremendous score, and knocking their opponents' 
wickets over for a few runs. It is astonishing how a captain, by 
working steadily on, can ■ educate his party,' as the late Lord 
Beaconsfield said ; and if by quiet persuasion he can influence 
some of the rougher element to abandon their horse-play and 
1 flowery ' language, and to assist in keeping good order — at the 
same time warning them that ladies and gentlemen are kept 
away from the green for fear of their ears being contaminated 
by rough language — he will find that visitors who come prepared 
for a noisy rude crowd will be surprised to find perfect order ; 
and if some one trangresses the bounds of good manners, he will 
hear a cry of ' Better language there ! ' This kind of thing can 
be and has been done ; and the result was that, in a place where 
the possibility of such a thing as a ladies' tent on the green was 
laughed at, not only was the ladies' tent a great success, but 
subscriptions flowed in in a wonderful manner. One dear old 
lady — an Exeter Hall-er who took omnibuses full of people to 
hear Sankey and Moody — sent ' two guineas for the green, which 
is now, I believe, a place of innocent amusement and happi- 
ness,' as she stated in her letter. She was a good Christian, as 
her house stood deep long-leg, and many a time has a ■ four ' 
been scored for a hit through her window — and this is fact 


With the enormous number of large schools in England where 
cricket is played, it will seldom happen that any cricket neigh- 
bourhood has not some young fellows from school, or possibly 
a few from either University, close by ; and if they happen to 
be of the right sort they are a great boon. At the same 
time it should be a golden rule never to put out of the eleven 
a good one, who has wprked for and earned his place, for a 
' swell.' The rule must be kept hard and fast, that the eleven 
is open only to those who have proved themselves good enough, 
and if that rule is observed, in the event of a real first-rate 
amateur turning up, you will generally find that more than one 
volunteer will offer to stand out for him. 

Captaining a village team is not all a bed of roses ; but 
if you are really a cricketer at heart, you will soon acquire 
the absolute confidence of people of all classes, especially 
of the humbler order. It is not an unpleasant thing, as 
you walk across the green on your way to the train, to hear a 
pack of little boys on their way to school, who look on you 
as a kind of big dog that won't bite, all chattering about the 
match the day before. ' Ah ! Sir, I heerd my father say that 
he won a pot over the match,' says one. * That boy, Sir, 
got the stick for playing truant yesterday morning,' says 
another. ' Well ! if I did,' replies the culprit, ' I see the begin- 
ning of the match, and you did not — there ! ' That boy may be 
another Fuller Pilch some day. 

And if you are sitting in the tent when your side is in, 
revolving many things in your mind, and you feel that the 
whites of the eyes of Mr. Chummy the sweep, a good cricketer 
formerly, who sits on a form just outside the tent, behind a 
very short pipe, are glancing round on you, what a comfort it 
is, if you turn round, to see an almost imperceptible nod of 
Mr. Chummy's head — for he never speaks during a match — 
which says, ' Going on all right — we shall win ! ' That nod of the 
head is only intelligible to a cricketer, just as a very 'shy' rise 
of a trout is only perceptible to a genuine fisherman. Those, too 
only who have known some celebrated cricketer from child- 


hood, and have watched his career and promotion from the 
little boys' to the big boys' eleven, and eventually to the parish 
eleven, and have seen his cricket talent developed from year 
to year until he appears in his county team, can imagine 
how painful is the excitement to those who are interested in his 
success. It has been my fate to go through — I had almost said 
the agony of — that state of suspense many times, and I must 
relate one instance. A young player, twenty years old, after 
my earnest entreaty, was allotted a place in the county eleven. He 
broke ground in London against Notts, and at his de&uthad to 
stand the fire of Alfred Shaw and J. C. Shaw. Directly I saw 
him play the first ball my mind was quite at rest, as he showed 
that he had not the stage sickness. He got twelve runs in an hour 
and a quarter. His next public appearance in London was a 
* caution,' as he scored 20 not out, in his first innings against 
Cambridge University; and, going in first, scored 82 in his 
second innings. This occurred nearly twenty years ago, when 
cricketers played with their bats and not with their pads, and 
boundary hits, except against the pavilion, were unknown ; so 
fifty runs was a grand score. I never shall forget my feelings 
when the colt had made 47, within 3 of his 50 ; I could look 
no more ; when, all of a sudden, I heard a roar from the crowd 
which told me that our village boy had done it. The secretary 
of the club said, ' He must have his sovereign for fifty runs,' 
and he promised me that if he made thirty more, which would 
make a total of 100, including his 20 not out, he would give 
him two sovereigns, if I would give him one for his first fifty. 
I undertook to raise that capital ; whereupon, a stranger, a very 
tall, handsome, gentlemanly man, said, ' And I will give him a 
sovereign too ; for • (turning to myself) ' your excitement, which 
I found was only occasioned by interest in a village boy, and not 
heavy betting as I imagined, has done me real good. I have 
been for thirty years in India and am going back again in a 
month, and nothing pleased me more than to find this keen 
love of sport still existing.' He would not give his name, and 
I could never find out who he was ; possibly he is alive and 


29 o CRICKET, 

may read this, and may let us know who he was, for I am sure 
he has not forgotten it. Richard Humphrey was the colt, and 
I sent for him into the Pavilion, and the ■ illustrious stranger ' 
shook hands with him and gave him the sovereign. 

The foregoing remarks about clubs apply to a country place 
with some pretensions to first-rate cricket and a village green. 
In a rural out-of-the-way place where the population consists 
of a class which cockney writers call ' Hodge,' and which we call 
' chaw-bacons,' bats and balls and stumps and all implements 
must be provided by subscription. In all other cases those 
who want to play cricket must pay for their own cricket things. 
If a good ground is provided the cricket ought to grow of itself. 
1 And this country cricket must cost a good deal of money,' 
perhaps you will remark. Of course it does ; so does fishing, or 
shooting, or hunting, or any other sport. There are many men 
who want to skim the cream of the cricket and to play in a good 
home match who will not play in an out match because 'they 
have not time,' really because they are too stingy. If you mean 
cricket you must back it everywhere with all your heart and 
all your strength. Whatever you do, never forget the wind-up 
match and supper at the end of the season, and get some 
good cricketers from amongst your foes to join, and above all 
a parson or two if possible. In these days, I need not say 
1 abolish all ribald songs and drunkenness,' as cricketers have 
good manners now. 

As a last word, I must say something for country umpires. 
When changes in the game are proposed, a lot of outsiders 
who try their hardest to prevent penal laws being made intelli- 
gible, on the ground that ' the change will put too much on 
the umpires' shoulders — especially country umpires/ are talk- 
ing nonsense. In the days of Caldecourt, John Bayley, Tom 
Barker, and Good at Lord's, umpires did their duty without 
fear or favour, and did not let men ' cheat, and the same stamp 
of umpires still exists in counties and on many a village green ; 
and if there are any umpires on public grounds who cannot 
administer the law fearlessly, they had better be supplanted by 


those who can. If batsmen in the past had shamelessly 
stopped the ball with their pads without ' offering ' at the ball 
with their bat, country umpires would have given them out 
for unfair play, on the same principle as wilfully obstructing the 
field. I suppose they would call it l.b.w ; and the crowd would 
have given the retiring batsman (?) a very cold reception ; or 
perhaps a very hot one : neither extreme of heat or cold is 
pleasant. The late Chief Justice Cockburn said of county 
magistrates: 'They may sometimes administer bad law, but 
generally good justice ; ' and the remark applies to village-green 



(By Andrew Lang.) 

Mr. Gale has been saying his very pleasant say on country 
cricket in England. A Border player, in his declining age, may 
be allowed to make a few remarks on the game as it used to be 
played in ' pleasant Teviotdale,' and generally from Berwick all 
along the Tweed. The first time I ever saw ball and bat must 
have been about 1850. The gardener's boy and his friends 
were playing with home-made bats, made out of firwood with 
the bark on, and with a gutta-percha ball. The game instantly 
fascinated me, and when I once understood why the players 
ran after making a hit, the essential difficulties of comprehen- 
sion were overcome. Already the border towns, Hawick, Kelso, 
Selkirk, Galashiels, had their elevens. To a small boy the 
spectacle of the various red and blue caps and shirts was very 
delightful. The grounds were, as a rule, very rough and bad. 
Generally the play was on haughs^ level pieces of town-land 
beside the rivers. Then the manufacturers would encroach 
on the cricket-field, and build a mill on it, and cricket would 
have to seek new settlements. This was not the case at Hawick, 
where the Duke of Buccleuch gave the town a capital ground, 
which is kept in very good order. 

In these early days, when one was only a small spectator, 
ay, and in later days too, the great difficulty of cricket was 
that excellent thing in itself, too much patriotism. Almost the 
whole population of a town would come to the ground and 


take such a keen interest in the fortunes of their side, that the 
other side, if it won, was in some danger of rough handling. 
Probably no one was ever much hurt ; indeed, the squabbles 
were rather a sham fight than otherwise ; but still, bad feeling 
was caused by umpires' decisions. Then relations would be 
broken off between the clubs of different towns, and sometimes 
this tedious hostility endured for years. The causes were the 
excess of local feeling, and perhaps the too great patriotism of 
umpires. ' Not out,' one of them said, when a member of the 
Oxford eleven, playing for his town-club, was most emphatically 
infringing some rule. ' I can not give Maister Tom out first 
ball,' the umpire added, and his case was common enough. 
Professional umpires, if they could be got, might be expected 
to prove more satisfactory than excited amateurs who forgot 
to look after no balls, or to count the number of balls in an 
over. But even professionals, if they were attached to the club 
or school, were not always the embodiment of justice. 

The most exciting match, I think, in which I ever took part 
was for Loretto against another school. In those days we were 
very weak indeed. When our last man went in, second innings, 
we were still four runs behind our opponent's first score. This 
last man was extremely short-sighted, and the game seemed 
over. But his partner, a very steady player, kept the bowling, 
and put on some thirty-eight more. We put our adversaries 
in to get this, and had lowered eight wickets for twenty-eight. 
I was bowling, and appealed to the umpire of our opponents 
for a palpable catch at wicket. ' Not out ! ' Next ball the 
batsman was caught at long-stop, and a fielder triumphantly 
shouted, 'Well, how's thatV 

* Not out,' replied the professional again, and we lost the 
match by two wickets. 

If this had happened on the Border there would have 
been trouble, and perhaps the two clubs would not have met 
again for years. I have no doubt that a more equable feeling 
has come in among those clubs which retained a good deal 
of the sentiments of rival clans. The Borderers played too 


much as if we were still in the days of Scotts and Carrs, and 
as if it were still our purpose 

To tame the Unicorn's pride, 
Exalt the Crescent and the Star. 

Sir Walter Scott encouraged this ardour at football when he 
caused to be unfurled 3 for the first time since 1633, the ancient 
banner of Buccleuch, with its broidered motto ' Bellendaine.' 
The dalesmen, the people from the waters of Yarrow, Ettrick, 
and Teviot, played against the souters of Selkirk, all across 
country, the goals being Ettrick and Yarrow. The townsmen 
scored the first goal, when the Galashiels folk came in as allies 
of the shepherds, and helped them to win a goal. ' Then began 
a murder grim and great,' and Scott himself was mobbed in 
the evening. But he knew how to turn wrath into laughter. 

1 'Tis sixty years since,' and more, but this perfervid ardour, 
while it makes Border cricket very exciting, is perhaps even 
now a trifle too warm. The great idea, perhaps, in all country 
cricket is not so much to have a pleasant day's sport, win or 
lose, but to win merely. Men play for victory, as Dr. Johnson 
talked, rather than for cricket. This has its advantages ; it con- 
duces to earnestness. But it does not invariably promote the 
friendliness of a friendly game. 

Border cricket is very pleasant, because it is played in such 
a pleasant country. You see the angler going to Tweedside, 01 
Teviot, and pausing to watch the game as he strolls by the 
cricket-ground. The hills lie all around, these old, unmoved 
unchangeable spectators of man's tragedy and sport, The 
'broken towers of Melrose or Jedburgh or Kelso look down on 
you. They used to ' look down,' as well they might, on very 
bad wickets. Thanks to this circumstance, the present writer, 
for the first and only time in his existence, once did the ' hat 
trick' at Jedburgh, and took three wickets with three con- 
secutive balls. Now the grounds are better, and the scores 
longer, but not too long. You seldom hear of 300 in one 
innings on the Border. 



In my time the bowling was roundhand, and pfretty straight 
and to a length, as a general rule. Perhaps, or rather certainly, 
the proudest day of my existence was when I was at home foi 
the holidays, and was chosen to play, and bowl, for the town 
eleven against Hawick. I have the score still, and it appears 
that I made havoc among Elliots, Leydens, and Drydens. But 
they were too strong for our Scotts, Johnstons, and Douglasses : 
it is a pleasure to write the old names of the Border clans in 
connection with cricket. The batting was not nearly so good 
then as it is now; professional instruction was almost unknown. 
Men blocked timidly, and we had only one great hitter, Mr. 
John Douglas; but how gallantly he lifted the soaring ball by the 
banks of Ettrick ! At that time we had a kind of family team, 
composed of brothers and other boys, so small that we called 
ourselves Les Enfants Perdus. The name was appropriate 
enough. I think we only once won a match, and that victory 
was achieved over Melrose. But we kept the game going on 
and played in all weathers, and on any kind of wickets. Very 
small children would occasionally toddle up and bowl when 
the elder members of the family were knocked off. Finally, 
as they grew in stature, the team developed into 'The Eccentric 
Flamingoes,' then the only wandering Border club. We wore 
black and red curiously disposed, and had a good many Oxford 
members. The Flamingoes, coming down from Oxford, full of 
pride, had once a dreadful day on the Edinburgh Academy 
Ground. We were playing the School, which made a por- 
tentous score, and I particularly remember that Mr. T. R. 
Marshall, probably the best Scotch bat who ever played, and 
then a boy, hit two sixes and a five off three consecutive balls. 
It is a very great pity that this Border bat is so seldom seen at 
Lords'; his average for M.C.C. in 1886 was 85. The Fla- 
mingoes lasted for some years, and played all Teviotdale and 

In those days we heard little of Dumfries and Galloway 
cricket, into which Steels, Tylecotes, and Studds have lately 
infused much life. In recent years, Lord Dalkeith, Lord 


George Scott, and Mr. Maxwell Scott, of Abbotsford, have 
contributed very much to the growth of Border cricket. Money 
has never been very plentiful north of Tweed, and when 
scarcely any but artisans played, the clubs could not afford good 
grounds, or much professional instruction. In these xespects 
there has been improvement. Perhaps the boys' cricket was 
not sufficiently watched and encouraged. Veterans used to 
linger on the stage with a mythical halo round them of their 
great deeds in the Sixties. Perhaps the rising generation is 
now more quickly promoted, and better coached than of old. 
I feel a hesitation in offering any criticism because I had only 
one quality of a cricketer, enthusiasm, combined for a year or 
two with some twist from leg. But, if I never was anything of 
an expert, my heart hath always been with those old happy 
scenes and happy days of struggling cricket. What jolly jour- 
neys we had, driving under the triple crest of Eildon to Kelso, 
or down Tweed to Galashiels, or over the windy moor to 
Hawick 1 How keen we were, and how carried beyond our- 
selves with joy in the success of a sturdy slogger, or a brilliant 
field ! There were sudden and astonishing developments of 
genius. Does J. J. A., among his savages on the other side of 
the globe, remember how he once took to witching the world 
by making incredible and almost impossible catches ? Audisne, 
Amphiarae ? Michael Russell Wyer, I am sure, among Parsee 
cricketers, has not forgotten his swashing blow. But one of 
whom the poet declared that he would 

Push into Indus, into Ganges' flood, 

While all Calcutta sings the praise of Budd, 1 

will no more ' push leg balls among the slips/ 

No longer make a wild and wondrous score, 
And poke where never mortal poked before. 

This is the melancholy of mortal things. 

1 The maker of a formidable bat 


As Mr. Prowse sang 

The game we have not strength to play 
Seems somehow better than before. 

Our wickets keep falling in this life. One after the other 
goes down. They are becoming few who joined in those Border 
matches where there was but one lady spectator, when we made 
such infrequent runs, and often dropped a catch, but never lost 
heart, never lost pleasure in the game. Some of them may 
read this, and remember old friends gone, old games played, 
old pewters drained, old pipes smoked, old stories told, re- 
member the leg-hitting of Jack Grey, the bowling of Bill Dry- 
den and of Clement Glassford, the sturdy defence of William 
Forman. And he who writes, recalling that simple delight and 
good fellowship, recalling those kind faces and merry days in 
the old land of Walter Scott, may make his confession, and 
may say that such years were worth living for, and that neither 
study, nor praise, nor any other pleasure has equalled, or can 
equal, the joy of having been young and a cricketer, where 

The oak, and the ash, and the bonny ivy tree, 
They flourish best at home in the North Countrie 

It is long since the writer has played in Border cricket, or 
even seen the game in those quarters. A more modern sports- 
man, and an infinitely better player, has kindly drawn up a few 
observations made in recent years. On the whole, nothing, it 
seems, is altered. The game is played mainly, as of old, by 
the stalwart artisans. There is little patronage from the 
counties, and the middle classes are sunk in golf. Money, 
therefore, is scarce, and, while very fair wickets are provided, 
the out-fielder is harassed by difficulties of ground in many 
cases. Time also is scarce, and thus lack of wealth prevents 
the Borderers from doing themselves justice. At Langholm 
the family of the Duke of Buccleuch, 'the Langholm Lordies,' 
set an example, and, at Dalbeattie in Galloway, Steels, as of 


old, Studds, and Tylecotes play in autumn. Mr. Maxwell of 
Glenlee, now dead, and Mr. Maxwell Scott of Abbotsford were 
recently patrons of the game. On the whole, however, money 
and encouragement are sadly lacking. 

The play, I gather, has improved, and the employment 
of professionals has doubtless contributed to this result. 
There is a danger, however, of depending too much on the 
professionals, who take part in the matches between the 
clubs. The difficulties of umpiring are overcome in matches 
for the Border Cup by the assistance of strangers, who truly 
and indifferently minister justice. In other matches', I am told, 
the umpires, being members of the rival clubs, are apt to 
suffer from 'the personal bias,' and from accesses of local 
patriotism. This defect is not absolutely confined to the Border. 
Football, a game entailing less expenditure of money and 
time, is naturally better rooted and more flourishing than 
cricket. It is also less dependent on weather. On the whole, 
improvement both in skill and in the wickets is to be noted, and 
I conceive that a match is much less likely than of old to de- 
generate into a Border brawl. But cricket is not the national 
game of the country which gave birth to golf and can hold her 
own at football. 



(By W. G. Grace.) 

Ask any player who has scored over a hundred in an innings 
if he felt any particular influence at work on the morning of the 
match, and he will probably answer in the negative ; but press 
him, and he will admit that he felt fit and well, and that the 
feeling was owing to a good night's rest, together with the 
careful training of days and weeks, I am aware that there are 
exceptions to this rule, and that players have been known to 
score largely after a night of high feasting and dancing j but 
in my own experience, whilst admitting that occasional freaks 
of this kind have been followed by moderately large scores, 1 
cannot recollect many of my big innings that were not the 
results of strict obedience to the rules which govern the train- 
ing for all important athletic contests. Temperance in food 
and drink, regular sleep and exercise, I have laid down as the 
golden rule from my earliest cricketing days. I have carefully 
adhered to this rule, and to it in a great degree I attribute the 
scores that stand to my name in cricket history, and the mea- 
sure of health and strength I still enjoy. 

Early in the season every cricketer knows the difficulty of 
getting his eye in, but though he may be disappointed at the 
small score attached to his name match after match, he plays 
steadily on, trusting that by constant practice the coveted 
hundred will come. If he hopes to score largely he must be 
careful in his manner of living and moderate in all things, even 


though nature may have blessed him with exceptional wrist 
power and sight. 

The capacity for making long scores is not a thing of a 
day's growth, and it may be years before strength and skill 
come and enable the young cricketer to bear the fatigue of 
a long innings. He cannot begin too early to play carefully 
and earnestly, and in all club and school practice the lad 
should play as if he were engaged in an important match, and 
the result depended upon his individual efforts. In my own 
case, thanks to careful guidance, I was early taught to keep my 
wicket. up, never to hit recklessly, always to play straight or 
good-length balls with force, and if possible away from the 
fielders. Habits of that kind thoughtfully cultivated will not 
desert you in first-class cricket. Great scores at cricket, like 
great work of any kind, are, as a rule, the results of years of 
careful and judicious training and not accidental occurrences. 

If you have occasion to travel a considerable distance to 
play, make an effort to get to your destination the night before, 
or at least some time before, the match begins. There is 
nothing so fatiguing to the eyesight as a long railway journey, 
and going straight from the railway station to the wicket is 
often fatal to long scoring. 

I have tried hard, especially of late years, to arrange so 
that I could reach the ground in good time and save every- 
thing in the shape of hurry or bustle. There are but few 
cricket grounds within a hundred miles of each other where the 
light and conditions are alike, and it takes some time for eye 
and mind to accommodate themselves to new surroundings. 
You will find it just as trying to play in a blaze of sunshine, 
after three days of smoke and leaden skies, as you will in a 
change from the sunny south to the bleak, sunless north. 

You must also not only bear in mind the vast importance 
of reaching the ground in good time, but the greater impor- 
tance of getting five or ten minutes' batting practice before 
the innings begins. Very few grounds are the same as regards 
the way in which the ball rises off the pitch, even if the light 


be similar to that you have been playing in for days, and it 
requires nothing short of a genius for the game to change 
from a fast to a slow wicket, and play with the same ease and 

I shall not readily forget an experience that came to me in 
1 87 1, when I travelled from London to Brighton to play for 
the Gentlemen against the Players for the benefit of John 
Lillywhite. Being very much younger than I am now, I was 
blessed with clearness of vision and quickness of action that 
suited themselves very readily to most conditions of light and 
ground. Perhaps it was the inexperience of youth that led me 
to put off reaching the old Brunswick ground at Hove until 
the moment of beginning my innings. This I know, I felt 
as fit as ever I did in my life, walked to the wicket with con- 
fidence, and took my guard carefully to the bowling of J. C. 
Shaw. He was on at the sea-shore end, and there was a glare 
on the water, delighting the artistic eye I have no doubt, but 
to me shifting and dancing like a will o' the wisp. There is 
no need to deny the fact, I was all abroad to his first ball, and 
knew it had beaten me before it came within two yards of 
me. I tried hard to play it, but the ominous rattle told me 
I had failed, and I returned to the pavilion and made .the 
mental note. The dazzling light, the railway journey, and 
want of five minutes' practice did it. I had no desire to re- 
peat the performance in the second innings, and had little 
fear of doing so. I took care to have some practice, and 
scored 217, my brother G. F. made 98, and we increased the 
total by 240 runs in two and a half hours. 

There is this also to be said in favour of five or ten minutes' 
batting practice before a match, that it enables you to test pads, 
gloves, and shoes. To have the fastening of a glove or pad 
break off when you are well set is a disagreeable and annoying 
interruption. It takes some time to put things right, and when 
you return to the wicket, the confidence you felt has very 
likely to a great extent deserted you. And how often have 
you placed your boots in your bag, all the spikes seemingly 


firm, to find one or two missing after you have been batting for 
a few minutes ! One has gone out of the toe of your boot, and 
you play forward to a ball, miss your footing and get stumped ; 
or one has vanished from the heel, and you are called by your 
partner for a short run, sent back again, slip, and get run out. 
Inattention to these apparently small points causes annoyance, 
and may prevent you from getting a long score. 

You are now ready to go in, and if you are first on the list 
you may do it leisurely ; but if you follow first wicket down, or 
later, impress strongly upon your mind that it is your duty to 
get to the w icket within the limit of time the law allows, and as 
quickly as possible, particularly if your partner has got his eye 
in and looks like making a large score. You will expect a like 
consideration when your turn comes to wait, and nothing up- 
sets a player so much as having to loiter three or four minutes 
when he is warm and at home with the bowling, especially 
when he knows there is no need for delay. There will be a 
lack of confidence between you for some time at least, and 
indifferent judging of runs. 

You will doubtless please yourself as to the guard to be 
taken ; but whether you take it to cover the middle and leg 
stumps, or middle or leg only, be sure to keep your legs clear 
of the wicket. A good umpire notes at the first glance if your 
leg is covering any part of it, registers it against you, and 
remembers it when called upon for a decision. If you stand 
clear of the wicket, he realises that you are taking every pre- 
caution, will not decide without thinking, and will give you 
the benefit of every doubt. 

Be sure you have vour right foot firmly planted behind the 
popping crease, or you may play a little too far forward and be 
stumped. You may as well remove any small piece of grass 
or loose bit of turf that catches your eye as you look along the 
wicket. After you have taken guard, and marked it clearly, 
look all around and note the position of the fieldsmen. 
It is something to know you may hit out to certain parts of 
the ground without the risk of being caught. 


It is not very many years since, if you had asked the ques- 
tion how you were to begin an innings, you would have been 
told to play quietly for an over or two, and hit at nothing 
straight until you got your eye in. With all my heart I say, do 
not be in a hurry to hit ; keep up your wicket and runs will 
come ; but do not think that this means that you are not to 
punish a loose ball if you get one, whether it be your first or 
your twentieth. I understand it to mean that you are not to 
hit at a good or doubtful ball for the sake of a start, or to 
shake off the nervousness that affects a great number of players 
until they have scored the first run. No ; begin as you mean 
to go on, playing good balls carefully, hitting loose ones, and 
bearing in mind that a large score is not made in half-a-dozen 
hits or overs. Do not be surprised and disappointed if the 
first few overs are maidens, or ruffled that the score-sheet is 
still clean so far as you are concerned. Possibly your partner 
has been placing balls that you could not get away, and you 
grow impatient. That is foolishness, and fatal to your chance 
of scoring. Remember he had been batting before you came 
in, and had obtained the confidence and mastery over the 
bowling that is now coming slowly but surely to you. Runs 
will come if you stay in, and few bowlers can go on bowling 
over after over for half an hour or more without giving you a 
loose ball or two. 

It is bad judgment to attempt sharp runs early in your 
innings. Inclination that way is sure to be encouraged by the 
bowler, and when you least expect it he will in some way un- 
known to you communicate with the wicket-keeper and fielders, 
and the next attempt may end in you or your partner being 
run out. A deal of harm has been done even if you just saved 
it by an inch or two, and you will be in a most unhappy state 
of mind for some time afterwards. It dawns upon you that there 
was a degree of stupidity in the attempt, and it does not im- 
prove your temper to have words of caution showered upon 
you from the pavilion. The state of the game, the condition 
of the score did not demand it, and you will be very lucky if 

30 4 CRICKET. 

you realise the fact, and recover your usual coolness and con- 
fidence before resuming your innings. 

Exercise judgment when running out big hits. If you find 
the fielders a little careless in throwing in, you may make a five 
out of what looked like a four ; but remember that to do this you 
will have to make an exceptional effort that will try your wind. 
And now you have the opportunity to show if your head is 
of the thoughtful kind. The bowler will be delighted if he 
can tempt you to play the next ball before you have got rid 
of the flurry and excitement, and you will be looked upon as 
very obliging and thoughtless if you do. Very likely you have 
resumed your position in front of the wicket with no intention 
of playing for a second or two ; perhaps the bowler is aware of 
the fact, but that does not prevent him from bowling at you in 
the hope that you may change your mind. Do not blame him 
if you play and are bowled. He was not supposed to know 
that you were not ready, and you had no right to be there re- 
covering your breath ; it will come back as freely to you a yard 
or two away from the wicket as in front of it, and neither 
bowler nor fielders ought to blame you for waiting for that 
purpose. You are playing the game for your side as well 
as your individual reputation, and ought to take all needful pre- 

Be careful what you take to drink during a long innings. 
If you are not accustomed to large scoring you are sure to feel 
thirsty, and your mouth will become very dry before you have 
made many runs. A big drink at this or any other time when 
you are in is a great mistake. For the moment you feel as if 
you must quench your thirst, or you cannot go on ; you must, 
however, refrain, for there is nothing so insidious and infectious 
as indulgence in drinks of any kind. In half an hour you will 
want another, and the fieldsmen generally will sympathise and 
lean to your way of thinking. Then there will be five minutes' 
break, you will probably lose sight of the ball, and very likely 
get out immediately after. If you must have something, call 
for a little water : it will answer the purpose perfectly. Rinse 


your mouth with it, swallow as little as possible, and the thirst 
will quickly pass away. 

It is the first long innings that requires nerve and judgment. 
The hopes and fears that spring up in the young player's 
breast when he has scored something between fifty and a 
hundred make it a severe trial ; and I daresay if you and I could 
read his thoughts we should find that every run of the last ten 
was made in mental fear accompanied by a thumping heart. 
But when the hundred is reached, who can describe the joy 
that thrills him as he hears the hand-clapping and shouting ! 

I will not say, be modest in the hour of victory, but rather 
be modest after it. It is after the victory, as we listen to out- 
side praise, that conceit and its enervating influence steal in. 
Turn a deaf ear, and remember it was in fear and trembling 
that you reached the much-desired score. Quiet confidence is 
a widely different thing from conceit. The former will help 
you to a run of big scores, the latter will cripple every effort to 
sustain your hardly earned reputation. 

So far I have not touched upon the different wickets that are 
met with during the season. There have been years, such as 
1887, when the weather has continued dry and fine for weeks, 
and the change from ground to ground was hardly perceptible ; 
but I have known the wicket to change in a single match from 
dry, fast and true, to wet and soft, and then to have finished 
sticky and unplayable. Anyone who can score heavily through 
changes of that kind will be exceptionally fortunate. I ven- 
ture to think it may be of some use to young cricketers if I 
tell them how they should play under these different conditions 
of ground. I will begin with what is known as a fast, dry and 
true wicket. 

This is the wicket which all good cricketers like to play on, 
and, if it does not crumble before the match is finished, long 
scores may be expected. Never hesitate to play forward on a 
wicket of this kind, for the bowler can get little or no work on 
the ball, and, what is more, the further it is pitched up and the 
faster it comes along, the easier it is to play it forward and the 



more difficult to play it back. On such a wicket as this do not 
go in for lofty and 'gallery' hitting, or you will very likely 
throw away your chance of making a long score. If the bowler 
gives you a ball well up, instead of hitting very hard at it, I 
should advise you to drive it along the ground ; although you 
may not score so many runs for it, still you do not incur the 
risk of being caught out, and you will get the applause of those 
who know what scientific batting means. Cuts and leg-hits 
travel at a rare pace on a good fast ground, and timing and 
placing are of more importance than strength. A snick to long- 
leg may bring more runs than a hard hit straight, and a tap 
past long-slip goes flying to the boundary with a very small 
expenditure of strength. Most long scores have been made 
on a wicket of this description, and you do not tire half so much 
as you would if the wicket were wet and heavy. 

In the season 1876 — one of my best years — I remember play 
ing in three matches following each other when the ground 
was fast, dry and true. The first match was at Canterbury, for 
Marylebone C.C. v. Kent. Kent made the long score of 473, 
chiefly owing to the magnificent batting of Lord Harris, who 
made 154. We responded with the comparatively small total 
of 144. To follow on with so large a deficit was not encou- 
raging; but the wicket was still everything to be desired in 
pace and quality, and I made up my mind to play a fast game, 
knowing that the bowler could get little or no work on the ball, 
and that any attempt to play carefully for a draw would be 
useless. It is now a matter of history that we scored the first 
100 in forty-five minutes, 217 well under the two hours, and 
finished up with a total of 557 for nine wickets, converting 
what appeared to be inevitable defeat into a creditable draw. It 
took me a little over six hours to make my 344 ; but so good 
and fast was the wicket that I played forward to most of the 
good balls. 

Two days after, on a similar wicket against Notts, playing 
for Gloucestershire at Clifton, I made 177, and the same week 
3 1 8 not out, against Yorkshire at Cheltenham. The last wicket 


was one of the very best I ever played on, and right through 
the innings I could play forward without danger to nearly 
every ball bowled. Remember, then, on a wicket of this kind 
to play forward as much as possible. 

I come now to a fast, good, wet wicket. It may surprise a 
great many players when I say, play almost the same way as 
upon a fast dry wicket. The bowler has still as much difficulty 
in getting work on the ball, as it cuts through the ground and 
he cannot hold it owing to its wet and slippery state, and 
you will find playing forward the better way. You will 
have to be a little more watchful, for some balls will keep 
low and travel at a terrific rate after they pitch, and should you 
get a shooter it will come to you even faster than on a dry 
wicket. Batsmen on our perfect wickets of to-day think a 
ball that keeps low is a shooter ; but I wish they could come 
across the shooters we used to have at Lord's ground twenty 
years ago. They seemed completely to baffle some players, 
and gave them the impression that the ball, instead of travelling 
all along the'' ground, went under it and came up again at the 
bottom of the wickets. 

Of course you will distinguish between a fast wet wicket 
and one that is not thoroughly saturated. The latter, though 
perhaps quite as true, will not be so fast, nor will runs come so 
quickly. A wicket of this kind was formerly considered much 
in favour of the bowler ; but that opinion has been upset, and 
a good punishing batsman, who takes no liberties, has the 
bowler pretty much at his mercy. • In 1873, on a wicket of this 
kind, I made 160 not out for Gloucestershire v. Surrey at 
Clifton. In the early part of the innings the wicket was fast 
and wet, and the ball travelled at a rare pace ; but later on it 
became softer, and the ball did not travel so well. 

A slow, good, dry wicket. You will occasionally meet with 
this kind of wicket after rain, when the ground has not had 
time to dry sufficiently to make it fast. The bowler can get 
more break on than he can on a good fast wicket, but the ball 
rises slowly off the pitch and you have plenty of time to 

x 2 

3 o8 CRICKET. 

watch it. You will rarely get a ball higher than the bails, and 
you can play forward or back as the pitch admits. When 
playing forward, you must not play too quickly, as the ball 
sometimes hangs a bit and you may play it back to the bowler. 
It was on a wicket of this kind at Clifton College ground that I 
scored a hundred in each innings for Gloucestershire v. Kent 
in 1887. The first day the wicket was perfect of its kind, 
every ball coming easy and with very little break, travelling 
quickly when hit, as the outside ground was much harder than 
the pitch, which had been watered. I made 10 1 in less than 
three hours. Rain stopped play for some time on the second 
afternoon, Friday, but by Saturday afternoon the wicket re- 
covered, and I scored 103 not out in two hours and twenty 
minutes. Years ago, when youth was more on my side, I pre- 
ferred a very fast dry wicket ; but now I confess to a leaning 
for a good, slow, and dry one. 

The three wickets I have described must be considered easy, 
and attention to the points I touched upon at the beginning 
should help the batsman to score largely. I now come to two 
of a very different nature, on which, as a rule, the bowler has a 
high time of it, and where special nerve, skill, judgment, and 
luck on the part of the batsman are required before he can 
make a large score. 

First, a bumpy wicket. By a bumpy wicket I do not mean 
a fast fiery wicket where the ball only goes over the top of the 
stumps and raps the knuckles occasionally, but a wicket upon 
which you may get a shooter one over and a blow on the chest 
the next, as a pleasing variety to those that come frequently 
right over your head the first bound and straight into the hands 
of the long-stop without again touching the ground. I can 
assure all young players that there is a new and curious sensa- 
tion in facing balls of this kind. Skill, patience, a quick eye 
and ready arm are useful for the occasion, but dogged pluck is 
worth the whole of them. Do not let thoughts of hard knocks 
trouble you, or your chance of scoring even a double figure 
will be remote. Take your position at the wicket in your usual 


way, stand up to the bowling pluckily, and do not have it said 
of you that you are only a good wicket player. On a ground 
of this kind every run is valuable, and you may risk stealing a 
sharp run or two now and then. One of your side may make 
fifty or more runs, but the average score is sure to be small, 
and you must face the possibility of hard knocks and play as 
if you expected every ball to come true and a large score de- 
pended upon you. I am glad to be able to say that, owing to 
the general improvement that has taken place in the principal 
grounds, you rarely now meet with a bumpy wicket. When 
the Yorkshire County Eleven made their first appearance at 
Lord's in 1870 to play against the M.C.C. and Ground, the 
wicket was as bumpy as a wicket could be, and very few players 
on either side escaped knocks of some kind. It was the first 
match in which the alteration in law 9 came into operation, by 
which a bowler could change ends twice in the same innings 
but not bowl more than two overs in- succession ; and Alfred 
Shaw and Wootton availed themselves of it in the second 
innings of Yorkshire. The M.C.C. went in first to the bowling 
of Freeman and Emmett, and were all out for 73. Yorkshire 
made 91, George Pinder, the well-known Yorkshire wicket- 
keeper, who was playing for the first time at Lord's, contribut- 
ing 31. The prospect in our second innings was not encourag- 
ing, and the wicket anything but good, when that accomplished 
Essex sportsman, Mr. C. E. Green, joined me ; but if ever a 
good and sterling cricketer played pluckily under adverse 
circumstances, Mr. Green did that day, and in seventy minutes 
we scored 99 runs. Freeman bowled a terrific pace, and Em- 
mett was in his glory, his bowling bumping and kicking up as 
I have never seen it since. We were hit all over the body, Mr. 
Green twice painfully hard on the chest ; but he was cool and 
cheerful, and made 51 in his best style — and that is saying a 
great deal considering the number of balls he had to dodge 
with his head. Just before I was out, last man, Emmett 
bowled a ball which hit me very hard on the point of the left 
elbow, the ball flew into the air, and we ran a run before it 


came down into short-leg's hands ; but I could not hold the 
bat properly afterwards, and was glad when the innings was 
over. I made 66, and our total was 161. Freeman, Iddison, 
Pinder and Wootton were all badly knocked about. York- 
shire won by one wicket ; thanks to the plucky hitting of Luke 
Greenwood and the steady batting of Emmett. 

Now I come to a drying, sticky wicket. This is about the 
worst you can play upon, and he who scores largely on it de- 
serves to be praised indeed. If the bowling be indifferent the 
player who can pull or hit a long hop to leg has a decided ad- 
vantage, as the ball hangs a great deal at times and favours that 
kind of play. If the bowler be on the spot, then tall scoring 
is an impossibility. The work to be got on the ball is as- 
tounding ; I have seen balls break a foot or more. 

This kind of wicket is oftener seen at Lord's after a good 
deal of rain and a drying sun than anywhere else. We all re- 
member that great match when the Australians made their first 
appearance there in 1878. I had a fair conception of what 
might happen, and after hitting the first ball of the match 
to the boundary was not surprised at being caught out from 
the fourth. One ball of Spofforth's was enough for me the 
second innings. The best advice I can give is to watch every 
ball on a wicket of that kind, and score when you can. 

In conclusion, never treat a straight ball with contempt, 
however badly bowled. I have met with a ball that bounded 
twice or thrice before it came to me, varying every bound and 
at the finish twisting or shooting,* and becoming a very difficult 
ball indeed. I have made it a rule all my life to hit a straight 
long hop or full -pitch with a straight or nearly straight bat, so 
that when a ball of this kind was bowled to me I had the full 
length of my bat to play it with, whereas if I had tried to pull 
or hit across at it, I should only have had the width of my bat, 
and should have been more likely to miss it. 

When an indifferent bowler is put on, you cannot be too 
careful. He is put on to tempt you to hit, and does not mind 
how many runs you score off him ; but presently you will get a 


good ball, and if you are not careful, especially if you are 
trying to bring off a favourite stroke, you will hit at it and very 
likely lose your wicket. 

After you have made a boundary hit do not make up your 
mind to hit another off the next ball. 

Keep your eye on the bowler, watch how he holds the ball 
and runs up to the wicket before delivering it ; that will help 
you considerably to detect alteration in length and pace. 

It is a mistake to hit at the pitch of slow, round, or under- 
hand bowling. The twist is sure to beat you, and if you do 
not miss the ball altogether, you will most likely get caught at 
cover-point. In my younger days I always ran out to under- 
hand bowling and hit it before it bounded, or waited and got 
it long hop. When a first-class bowler tries to bowl a slow 
ball with an extra amount of break, look out for a bad ball, and 
when it comes, as it will sooner or later, punish it, and you 
will upset him a bit, and very likely prevent him from bowling 
good balls afterwards. 

I think I have touched upon nearly everything that might 
help a young player to a long score, and with just a word 
about playing against odds I have done. Whether against 
eighteen or twenty-two in the field, play the same game that 
you would against an eleven. I have very often found that 
the fieldsmen in the outfield are placed too deep, and a 
second run can be stolen after the ball passes the men close 
in. Do not hit to leg, but rather place or snick the ball ; you 
will get just as many runs without the risk of being caught. 
It was when playing against odds that fine placing to leg was 
first cultivated, and now it has to a great extent superseded leg 

I need not say how delighted I am to watch the progress 
of every young and rising cricketer. My heart is in the game 
I love above all others, with a love that is as strong to-day as 
it was when I made my first large score, and when eye, hand, 
and foot were much quicker than they are now. I do not 
believe that there are no days like the good old days of cricket. 

3 i2 CRICKET. 

but I do strongly believe that the prospects of the game are as 
bright and hopeful to-day as they have been at any time in 
its history, and that in future years as great if not greater things 
will be done with both bat and ball. I ask every young 
cricketer to study the points I have submitted, and it will be 
sufficient reward to me if they in some way help him to make 
a big score. 




(By A. G. Steel.) 

Not until Monday, May 27, 1878, did the English public take 
any real interest in Australian cricket, though in 1877 in their 
own country the Australians had defeated Lillywhite's eleven 
on even terms. Prior to this date four English teams had 
visited Australia, but their doings, though recorded in the 
press, did not interest the cricket community at home. The 
Australian players met with in the Colonies were no doubt 
learning from the English teams they had seen and played 
against, but the idea that they were up to the standard of 
English first-class cricket seemed absurd ; and to a certain 
extent this estimate was justified by the records of the English 
visitors. In 1862 H. H. Stephenson, Surrey player and hunts- 
man, took out twelve professional players to the Colonies 
under the auspices of Messrs. Spiers and Pond. They 
played twelve matches against eighteens and twenty-twos, 
won six, lost two, and drew four. In 1864, two years later, 
George Parr took out a team, which played sixteen matches 
against twenty-twos, and was not beaten at all. In 1873 Mr. 
W. G. Grace visited the antipodes at the request of the 
Melbourne Cricket Club ; his eleven played fifteen matches, 
all against odds, won ten, lost three, and drew two. . In 1876 
James Lillywhite followed, and it was during this tour that the 
Australians first won a match on equal terms. Lillywhite's team 
played Australia on March 15, 16 and 17, 1877, with the result 
that Australia won by 45 runs. This match was noteworthy 
for another reason. C. Bannerman made 165 for Australia, 


and was the first amongst Australian batsmen to score a hun- 
dred against English bowlers. Now, though English cricketers 
had been beaten on even terms as recently as 1877, the fact 
seemed to have been lost sight of at home in 1878, and when 
the first Australian eleven that ever visited England arrived 
early in the latter year, it never occurred to anyone that it 
could have any chance of actually storming the citadel of 
English cricket with success. On May 27, 1878, English 
cricket and its lovers received a serious shock, as on that day, 
in the extraordinarily short space of four and a half hours, a very- 
fair team of the M.C.C. were beaten by nine wickets. The 
famous English club was certainly well represented, seeing that 
W. G. Grace, A. W. Ridley, A. J. Webbe, A. N. Hornby, Shaw, 
and Morley did battle for it. Gregory's team, as the Australians 
were called, had a very successful season, beating, in addition 
to M.C.C., Yorkshire, Surrey, Middlesex, Leicestershire, Sussex, 
Gloucestershire, and a bad eleven of the ' Players,' and being 
beaten by Nottingham, the Gentlemen of England, Yorkshire, 
and Cambridge, the latter the most decisive defeat of all. 

The British public were surprised at these results, especially 
as it had expected so little from the visitors. Many of 
the lower classes were so ignorant of Australia itself, to say 
nothing of the cricket capabilities of its inhabitants, that they 
fully expected to find the members of Gregory's team black as 
the Aborigines. We remember the late Rev. Arthur Ward 
1 putting his foot into it ' on this subject before some of the 
Australians. One day in the pavilion at Lord's, the writer, 
who had been chosen to represent the Gentlemen of England 
against the visitors in a forthcoming match, was sitting 
beside Spofforth watching a game, in which neither was taking 
part. Mr. Ward coming up, accosted the writer, 'Well, Mr. 
Steel, so I hear you are going to play against the niggers on 
Monday ? ' His face was a picture when Spofforth was intro- 
duced to him as the 'demon nigger bowler.' Gregory's team, 
in the writer's opinion, contained four really good bowlers : 
Spofforth, Boyle, Allan, and Garrett, and two fair changes in 


Midwinter and Horan, but as batsmen they were poor when 
compared with England's best. 

Charles Bannerman was a most dashing player, his off- 
driving being magnificent, and Horan and Murdoch were 
fairish batsmen. Murdoch then was very different to the 
Murdoch of 1882 and 1884 j but the rest were rough and 
untutored, more like country cricketers than correct players. 
Had this team come to England in a dry instead of a wet season, 
it would probably have had a very different record at the end of 
its visit. Spofforth, Boyle and Garrett were most deadly to the 
best batsmen on the soft, caked wickets they so often had to assist 
them ; and the Australian batsmen, with the rough crossbat style 
which distinguished the majority, were just as likely to knock up 
fifteen to twenty runs on a bad wicket as on a good one. Nothing 
brings good and bad batsmen so close together as bad wet 
seasons. When Cambridge University met them the match 
was played on a hard true wicket, the Australian bowling was 
thoroughly collared, and none of the eleven, except Murdo'ch, 
C. Bannerman, and perhaps Horan, showed any signs of being 
able to play correct cricket on a hard ground. 

Gregory's team, however, had a wonderfully stimulating 
effect on English cricket. Their record taught us that the 
Australians could produce men to beat most of the counties, 
and who mighty after a year or two of experience, play a very 
good game with a picked team of England. 

In 1880 W. L. Murdoch brought over a Colonial team to 
England. The close of the season showed that in the eleven- 
a-side matches, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, and a 
good eleven of the Players of England had been beaten, while 
only two matches had been lost : Nottingham succeeded in 
winning by one wicket, and England by five wickets. This 
latter match was the first in which a picked team of England did 
battle against the Australians, and the excitement was intense. 
It was most interesting, and will be ever memorable for the 
splendid innings of W. G. Grace and W. L. Murdoch, who 
made 152 and 153 respectively, the latter being not out 


England's first innings was 420, Australia's 149 ; the latter 
followed on, and when the last man, W. H. Moule, came in 
there were still wanting 32 runs to save the innings defeat. 
Moule played a stubborn game with his captain, and put on 88 
for the last wicket. How England lost five wickets on a 
goodish wicket in getting 5 7 runs will never be forgotten. The 
writer had taken off his cricket clothes at the end of the Austra- 
lians' second innings, thinking all would soon be over ; but 
cricket is a strange game, and he soon had to put them on again. 
The result of the first pitched battle between England and Aus- 
tralia, though a win of five wickets for the former, was a marvel- 
lous performance on the part of the Australians ; indeed, seeing 
how far they were left behind on the first innings, it was one of 
the best things ever done at cricket to get so near the victors 
at the finish, especially as the wicket on the last innings was 
not to be found fault with. It should also be mentioned in fair- 
ness to the Australians that their best bowler, Spofforth, was 
prevented by an accident from taking part in this match. 

The next team that visited England was in 1882, and was 
again under the captaincy of W. L. Murdoch. On this occa- 
sion G. Giffen, S. P. Jones, and H. H. Massie were introduced 
to the British public for the first time. As this eleven suc- 
ceeded in defeating England, and was perhaps the best that 
ever represented the Colonies, we record the names : — A. C. 
Bannerman, J. M. Blackham, G. J. Bonnor, H. F. Boyle, 
P. S. McDonnell, W. L. Murdoch, G. E. Palmer, F. R. Spofforth, 
T. W. Garrett, T. Horan, and the three new players above 
mentioned. The result at the end of the season was : 
Matches played, 38 : won, 23 ; lost, 4 ; drawn, n ; Notting- 
ham beaten once, Lancashire once, Yorkshire three times, 
the Gentlemen of England once, and Oxford University 
once. The four defeats were by Cambridge University, the 
Players of England, Cambridge Past and Present, and the 
North of England. This team played the second pitched 
battle between Australia and England on Monday, August 
28, and after the close finish and creditable display made in 


1880 against England by worse players, the match created the 
most intense excitement. The Australians went first to the 
wickets, which were very sticky, and were all disposed of for 
63. England topped this by 38. Prior to the beginning of 
Australia's second innings, a heavy shower deluged the ground. 
Going in on the wet cutting- through wicket, Massie hit the 
incapacitated bowlers all over the field, and when the first 
wicket fell for 66 had scored 55 out of that number. With the 
exception of Murdoch and Bannerman, nobody else troubled 
the English bowlers, and the ground rapidly drying and caking, 
the whole side were disposed of for 122. The Englishmen 
wanted 85 to win, and when the score was at 5 1 for one wicket, 
it seemed as if the game were over. Spofforth, however, was 
bowling splendidly, and the wicket had become most difficult. 
He was bowling over medium pace, coming back many inches, 
and often getting up to an uncomfortable height. The English 
batsmen could do nothing with him, and, after the keenest 
excitement, the game ended in a well-won victory for the 
Australians by 7 runs. Though this defeat was a great blow to 
the English representatives, there were none who grudged 
Australia her success, which was obtained by sound and sterling 
cricket. We think there is no doubt that the 1882 team was 
better than the next one in 1884. In 1882 they had as bowlers 
Boyle, Spofforth, Palmer, Garrett, and Giffen j in 1884 they 
had Spofforth, Palmer, Boyle, Giffen, and Midwinter, but they 
had lost Garrett. The '82 team contained two excellent bats- 
men in Horan and Massie, whose absence was not sufficiently 
compensated for by Scott and Midwinter. Murdoch, Horan, 
Giffen, Blackham, were all likely to make runs, while Massie, 
Bonnor, and McDonnell often succeeded on the worst wicket 
in making mincemeat of any bowling. 

In 1884 W. L. Murdoch again brought over an Australian 
team to England, and played thirty-two matches, winning eight 
and losing seven. This time it was decided by the English 
authorities not to allow the fame of English cricket to depend 
on the result of one match only, but on the best of three, and 

3 i8 CRICKET. 

accordingly three matches were arranged to be played between 
England and Australia, one at Manchester, the second at 
Lord's, and the third at the Oval. The first, at Manchester, was 
seriously interfered with by the weather. Rain prevented any 
play on the first day. England began to bat on a sodden 
wicket and made 95, and Murdoch's team responded with 182. 
England had now a difficult task to prevent being beaten, but 
at the end of the match were 92 runs on, and one wicket to 
fall. This was doubtless a draw in favour of the Australians, 
but still a hundred runs on a bad wicket against the flower of 
English bowling take a lot of getting, and it must be remem- 
bered that a month before the Australian team were all disposed 
of for 60 on a sticky wicket by Peate and Emmett. The second 
match was at Lord's, and was the only one of the three that 
was finished. England won easily by an innings and 5 runs. 
The earlier teams of the Australians never appeared to ad- 
vantage at Lord's. The later ones, however, have done better 
on that ground. The third match, at the Oval, was a memorable 
one. The Australians won the toss, went in on a perfect 
wicket, and made the terrific score of 551 : McDonnell 103, 
Murdoch 211, Scott 102. This was a truly great performance, 
and it was remarkable that every member of the English team 
tried his hand with the ball, by far the most successful having 
been the Honourable A. Lyttelton with the analysis of four 
wickets for 19 runs. England made 346 first innings, in which 
was a magnificent display from W. W. Read of 117. In the 
second innings England made 85 for two wickets, and thus re- 
quired 120 runs on a true wicket with seven good batsmen to 
save the single innings defeat. 

The next team that visited England was in 1886, H. J. H. 
Scott being the captain. This is memorable as the first 
Australian team in England that did not contain W. L. Murdoch. 
Several unknown men now made their appearance, W. Bruce, 
E. Evans, J. Mcllwraith, and J. W. Trumble, but this was un- 
doubtedly less successful than any of the previous teams. 
Their season's record showed : Matches played, 38 ; won, 9 ; 


lost, 7 ; drawn, 22. Here again, as in 1884, England v. 
Australia was to be played at Manchester, Lord's, and the 
Oval ; but it is unnecessary to give an account of these 
three matches. It will suffice to say that at Manchester 
England won by four wickets, at Lord's by an innings and 106 
runs, and at the Oval by an innings and 217 runs. 

The sixth Australian team visited us in 1888, and as W. L. 
Murdoch had at that time practically retired from first-class 
cricket, the captaincy devolved upon that sterling hitter, P. S. 
McDonnell. This team, though including some excellent players 
at all branches of the game, cannot be considered equal in 
merit to that of 1882. Three representative matches were again 
arranged, as in 1886. The first was played at Lord's upon a 
wicket deluged with rain, and the Australians won in a small- 
scoring match by 61 runs. They won on their merits as the 
game was played, and the English batsmen on that occasion 
deserved to lose. On a most difficult wicket, and against 
C. T. B. Turner and J. J. Ferris's bowling, they poked and 
scraped about, and seemed utterly unable to realise what each 
Australian batsman had done, viz. that to make runs under 
such circumstances the bat must be used vigorously. Though 
the Australians here scored their second success since 1878 in 
England in a representative match, the supporters of England 
were in nowise satisfied that the Australians had the better 
side. Two really good bowlers their opponents had in Turner 
and Ferris, but no one else on their side had any pretensions 
to being called first-class in this department of the game. Their 
batting, taken as a whole, was weak — McDonnell, of course, was 
a fine player, but the rest could not be compared to our best 
English batsmen. Then their fielding was hardly up to the 
standard of previous colonial teams. Altogether the English side 
did not fear the result of the next two matches if played under 
ordinary conditions of weather and luck. The second match, 
at the Oval, resulted in a win for England by an innings and 
137 runs, and the third, played at Manchester, in another win 
for the same side by an innings and 21 runs. The feature of 


the season's cricket played by this side was the bowling of 
C. T. B. Turner and J. J. Ferris. Turner's analysis was 
remarkable — 314 wickets for 3,492 runs, giving the excellent 
average of 1 1 '38. This bowler is undoubtedly entitled to take 
rank amongst the really great bowlers of this generation of 
cricketers. J. J. Ferris, though he met with wonderful success 
this season (1888), was never in the same class as C. T. B. 

The next Australian team that came to England was in 
1890, and W. L. Murdoch, after five years' absence from first- 
class cricket, consented to once again act as captain. The 
result of this trip was anything but a success from a cricket 
point of view, and indeed the team was not competent to cope 
with England's best. Six of this team made their first visit to 
England, viz. Messrs. Charlton, Gregory, Walters, Barrett, 
H. Trumble, and Burn. The batting of this team was distinctly 
indifferent, though Murdoch showed on occasions he had not 
altogether lost his skill ; he was not, however, the Murdoch of 
1882. Messrs. Turner and Ferris again bore the brunt of the 
attack ; they each took the same number of wickets during the 
tour, viz. 215. The former's average was slightly the better of 
the two ; how, in view of Ferris's performances since 1890 in 
England, he managed to run Turner so close for the highest 
bowling honours will always remain a mystery. The first of 
the three representative matches England won by seven wickets 
at Lord's. The feature of this match was that, though the 
Australians made 132 and 176 and the English team 173 and 
137 for 3 wickets, there was not one bye scored to either side 
in the match. This is a wonderful testimonial to J. M. Black- 
ham and G. McGregor, the respective wicket-keepers for 
Australia and England. The second match England v. 
Australia was played at the Oval, and a good game resulted in 
the defeat of the latter by two wickets ; it was a close finish, and 
the Australians deserved great credit for so nearly defeating 
such a powerful side as represented England on that occasion. 
The third match, arranged to be played at Manchester, was 


never even begun owing to the incessant rain which deluged 
the ground on all three days. 

In 1893 the eighth Australian eleven came over, and 
carried with it great hopes of their own countrymen. It had 
some good batsmen — Trott, Lyons, Bannerman, Giffen, Bruce, 
Graham, and Gregory, but none of them except Giffen could 
then compare with the best English bats, and Giffen, for some 
reason, has r ever done himself justice as a batsman in any of 
these trips. The bowlers were Turner, H. Trumble, Giffen, 
R. McLeod, Trott, and Bruce. Giffen at times bowled very 
finely, and Turner bowled well, but not so successfully as of 
yore. H. Trumble also proved himself to be an excellent 
bowler, but the combination was not strong enough, espe- 
cially in a fine season, to win the rubber against England. 
Unfortunately only one of the three matches was finished, 
and this resulted in a win for England by an innings and 
43 runs. 

In 1896 the ninth eleven that visited England, under the 
leadership of Trott, proved a good side, far the best that had 
been over since 1884, and from this date the efficiency of 
Australian cricket began to rise, until at the time of writing 
(April 1898) it stands as high as it ever did. Before discuss- 
ing this eleven it will be well briefly to review the result of five 
remarkable test matches played in Australia in the winter of 
1895 and 1896 between Stoddart's eleven and the Australians. 
Stoddart's eleven was very good, but nobody could say that at 
that time it was the best that England could have sent. Grace, 
Jackson, Gunn, Storer, and Abel might with advantage have 
taken the places of Humphreys, Brockwell, Philipson, Briggs, 
and Lockwood ; but still it was a good team, and it won three 
out of the five test matches. 

Under any circumstances this must always remain a great 
feat, for each side possess a great advantage when playing 
in their own country, but on looking carefully into these 
five matches as a whole, it must be confessed that Stod- 
dart must have been greatly helped by the selection and 


3 22 CRICKET. 

captaincy of the Colonists. Giffen's view of his duties of 
captain was the very erroneous one that it was essential 
that he should be bowling at one end nearly the whole time. 
In the first match he bowled 118 overs, while Turner and 
Jones were only allowed to bowl 117 overs between them. 
In the second match he magnanimously did not go on in the 
first innings on a wet wicket, but made up for it by bowling 
23 more overs than anyone else in the second innings, and 
in the last match he bowled while 236 runs were scored off 
him, and H. Trumble, who was on all wickets the best bowler 
in Australia, was only selected to play in one of the matches. 
Stoddart's side, however, batted finely, and Richardson proved 
himself at that time to be far the best bowler in the world. 

When they came to England in 1896 they brought GifTen, 
but wisely made Trott captain, and Hill and Darling showed 
symptoms of developing into the very high position they now 
hold, and the whole eleven proved themselves a difficult side 
to get out. Gregory, Darling, Hill, Iredale, Trott, Giffen, and 
Donnan all scored a thousand runs in the season, and Trumble, 
Jones, McKibbin, and Giffen each secured over a hundred 
wickets, and H. Trumble on all wickets was not excelled by 
any bowler in the two countries. The eleven played a safe 
game ; there was no McDonnell or Lyons in the side, but they 
took a lot of getting out, though, as might be supposed in the 
case of a side where there was no hitter, they were weak on soft 

Such was the situation when the last disastrous visit of 
Stoddart's eleven took place in 1897 and 1898, and though 
the result of this tour is very recent history, it is so important and 
raises such misgivings for the future that it is well to consider 
it at some length. 

In the first place no eleven has ever left England with so 
much of their countrymen's confidence as this eleven of 
Stoddart's. A great many thought that it was absolutely the 
best selection that could have been made. It is easy to be 
wise after the event, but even now it is not at all certain that 


the bowling could be improved, and this was the notorious 
weak spot of the eleven. In another part of this work is 
given a possible first eleven of England, but this selection is 
given, as far as the bowlers are concerned, with no great con- 
fidence, and the truth must sadly be confessed that unless we 
mend our bowling ways we shall very likely be defeated in our 
own country by the Australians in 1899. Up to the end of 
the first test match Stoddart's eleven had a blaze of triumph in 
spite of the abnormal heat which knocked up more than one 
of our eleven. Stoddart had no doubt the worst of the luck in 
losing the toss three times in the first four test matches, but, 
unluckily, what many of us dreaded occurred in the last match 
— he won the toss and lost the match. MacLaren and Ranjit- 
sinhji batted grandly, Storer, Hayward, and Druce passably, 
but the rest proved more or less a failure, while on Australian 
wickets against weak English bowling the batting of Darling 
and Hill was superb, and that of C. McLeod, Gregory, 
Iredale, Trumble, and Trott very good. But our team as a 
whole were not strong enough in batting to make up for our 
bowling weakness, and in a word the Australians thoroughly 
outbowled us. 

The Australians in the first test match played the bowlers 
who had performed so well in England in 1896, with the 
addition of C. McLeod, but in subsequent matches they 
played Noble and Howell, and these two bowlers have the 
knack of variety in their bowling, and this, combined with the 
pace of Jones and the admirable steadiness and break of 
Trumble, made a combination of bowlers that on good hard 
wickets has never been surpassed. It is the future that 
troubles us ; where are our bowlers ? In old days we could 
get one first-class bowler a year out of Nottingham alone, but 
the supply seems to have come to an end ; but from somewhere 
must come some bowlers of variety of pace, break, and head, 
or the old country must be content to take the lower room. 
But if 1899 should turn out to be a wet year a very different 
tale may have to be told. 

v 2 



Taking both countries, and excluding the Manchester 
match in 1890, abandoned on account of weather, fifty-one test 
matches have now been played,- of which England has won 
twenty-six, fourteen in Australia and twelve at home, Australia 
nineteen, of which all but three were in Australia, and six have 
been drawn. 

The leading averages in batting in all the series, in both 
countries, of test matches frOm 1880 to 1898 inclusive may 
prove of interest at this stage, but of course we exclude the 
players who only played in comparatively few matches, and we 
limit the number of innings to a minimum of twelve. The 
averages are as follows : — 


No. of 

Times not 

Total runs 


K. S. Ranjitsinhji . 




57'8 " 

F. A. Iredale . ... 





C. Hill . . . 





A. Shrewsbury 





A. E. Stoddart 





A. C. MacLaren 





A. G. Steel . 





W. G. Grace . 



• 1,079 


\V. L. Murdoch 





Like all tables of averages the above is misleading. Players 
like Grace, Murdoch, and Shrewsbury played in the days when 
runs were not. so easily got, and their performances may rank 
on a par with those of MacLaren, Ranjitsinhji, and Hill, and, of 
course, there have been many innings played against equally 
good bowling, but not in matches of England v Australia. 
No innings of greater merit has, however, been played than 
Murdoch's innings of 153 not out against England at the Oval 
in 1880. 

With regard to the merits of the English and Australian 
bowlers, we think there are few English cricketers who would 
deny that Spofforth is the best bowler ever seen on English 



grounds, at any rate in modern times, and yet the statistics 
show that he is not at the head of the average list. 

The following is the list of the first twelve bowlers : — 


Turner . 
Boyle . 
Briggs . 
Hearne . 
Palmer . 
Giffen . 
Trumble . 
































. 47 




Spofforth, although fourth only in the above table, was on 
the whole the greatest bowler, for many of his great feats were 
performed in other almost as important matches, and it must 
also be remembered that he never bowled for maidens ; but 
the figures of Peel, who in test matches has bowled more balls 
than anybody, come up remarkably well, and considering the 
number of balls he bowled his record is an extraordinary one. 

In addition to Spofforth, the Australians have had a wonder- 
fully good lot of bowlers : Palmer, Garrett, Boyle, Allan, Evans, 
G. Giffen, and since 1886— when this chapter was first writ- 
ten — Turner, Ferris, and H. Trumble, and, as far as can be 
gathered from the disastrous tour of Mr. Stoddart's eleven in 
1897-8, Noble, Howell, and Jones. Although the previous 
remarks about Spofforth were written before Turner made 
such a wonderful record on our English grounds, we still think 
Spofforth the best of all the bowlers. It appears extraordinary 
at first sight that a country whose whole population does not 
exceed that of London should in the course of a few years 
have been able to develop such exceptional talent. We believe, 
however, that Australia will always possess excellent bowlers, 


for the following reason. In Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide, 
the chief nurseries of Australian cricket, the grounds are so 
excellent, and usually so hard and fast, that no bowler can 
possibly expect the slightest amount of success unless he 
possesses some peculiarity of style or action, pace or power, 
over the ball ; mere pace and accuracy are of no avail. On 
the hardest and best wickets it must be laid down as an axiom 
that bowlers with change of pace and turn must form the 
bowling backbone of the future best eleven, and these qualities 
the young Australian cultivates with greater success than the 
English. In England the conditions are different, as, by 
reason of our variable climate, naturally weak bowling often 
becomes most effective. Young Australian bowlers have also 
ample opportunity for gaining experience and developing their 
skill, as there is in the colonies a very great dearth of the 
professional element. Members of the same club have to rely 
for their batting practice on the bowling of one another, and 
their bowlers come to acquire some of the peculiarities above 
mentioned that will strike terror into the hearts of their oppo- 
nents in the next tie of the cup contests. These cup contests 
in Australia are an excellent institution, as professionalism is 
barred. They produce the greatest interest and excitement, 
and each club does its utmost to secure the much-coveted 
distinction of being premier club for the season. The Australian 
climate is a great aid to bowling and fielding. Its warmth and 
mildness prevent the rheumatic affections that so often attack 
the arms and shoulders of our players, and the Australians con- 
sequently retain their suppleness of limb and activity of youth 
longer than their English cousins. Nothing illustrates this 
better than the prevalence of good throwing amongst Australian 
fieldsmen. The every-day sight on our own grounds of a man 
who has thrown his arm out and can do nothing but jerk is 
almost unknown in Australia ; even colonials who have passed 
their cricket prime and have reached the age of thirty-eight or 
forty can still throw with much the same dash as of old. In 
our county teams we find a woeful deficiency in this essential 


to good fielding ; the cold and damp of our northern climate 
having penetrated into the bones and created a chronic and 
incurable stiffness. 

One occasionally hears a really good cricket story in Austra- 
lia. The following was vouched for as a fact by several leading 
members of Australian cricket, and was told me as illustrative 
of the skill and dash of some great fieldsman whom I have 
never had the good fortune to meet. This man was standing 
coverpoint one day — his usual place in the field. He was mar- 
vellously quick, sometimes indeed his returns were so smart 
that none could tell whether he had used his right or left arm. 
He was, however, apt at times to be sleepy and inattentive to 
the game. On one occasion he was in this state, and just 
as the bowler started to bowl he noticed his sleepy cover- 
point standing looking on the ground with his back to the 
wickets. ' Hulloa, there, wake up ! ' shouted he. Quick as 
lightning turned the coverpoint, and seeing something dark 
dashing past him made a dart, and caught, not the ball as 
he had thought, but a swallow. Talk of Royle or Briggs after 
that ! 

Writing at the close of Mr. Stoddart's disastrous tour, it 
must be said that if the Australians bring over a representative 
team in 1899 ft wm * be looked forward to with the keenest 
interest. The 1896 lot did very well, and it remains to be seen 
whether in 1899, in matches limited to three days and on English 
wickets, our visitors can pull off the rubber in the three test 
matches. If they do they will receive the hearty congratula- 
tions of every true English cricketer ; and at the present time 
of writing it looks as if they had a great chance of so doing, 
but if they are wise they will try and unearth another batsman 
of the stamp of McDonnell or Lyons. 




(By the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton.) 

If to play drawn matches be a constant reproach against certain 
elevens, neither University eleven can be blamed on this score. 
Sixty-three matches have been begun between these old rivals, 
and no fewer than sixty have been finished. Of the three 
drawn matches, one, the first ever played, was confined to one 
day only j the second was so long ago as 1844, and that was 
confined to two days ; whilst the third, in 1888, was played in 
such unfavourable weather that not even four days sufficed to 
finish the match. All the rest have been fought out to the 
end, and of the sixty completed matches Cambridge has won 
thirty-two times and Oxford twenty-eight ; thus Cambridge 
has a proud balance of four in its favour. All the matches ex- 
cept five have been played at Lord's ; the remaining five were 
played at Oxford, three on the Magdalen ground, one on Cowley 
Marsh, and one on Bullingdon Green. The dark blues appear 
to have been slightly favoured in this respect — for presumably 
they knew their way about Oxford grounds better than their 
rivals — and out of the five matches played at Oxford, Cambridge 
only succeeded in winning one. The rules of qualification to 
play in this match are now strict only in one particular, and that 
is that nobody is allowed to play more than four times. Several 
players have played five matches, and their names are : C. H. 
Ridding, A. Ridding, C. D. Marsham, and R. D. Walker, all 
Oxford men. The fact that some players play on a side for five 
years may constitute a slight reason for causing the side they 
assist to lose matches and not win them ; but during the last 
three years that Mr. R. D. Walker helped his University he also 


helped the Gentlemen of England in their annual matches 
against the Players both at Lord's and at the Oval ; and C. D. 
Marsham was certainly not excelled by any gentleman bowler 
for accuracy and general efficiency during all the years he played 
for Oxford. Oxford were strong all the five years he played, 
and won four out of the five matches ; the other match resulted 
in a victory for Cambridge, mainly owing to the performances, 
both in batting and bowling, of the famous Mr. J. Makinson. 
Not since 1865, however, when Mr. R. D. Walker last played 
for Oxford, has any cricketer played more than four times, 
and since that time the rule has been well established, limiting 
the period to four years. But there is considerable elasticity 
allowed in permitting players to represent their University with- 
in those four years. A residence for a week is apparently suffi- 
cient, provided that the man's name is kept on the books of 
some College or Hall. Mr. O'Brien, who represented Oxford 
in 1884 and 1885, resided for one summer at New Inn Hall 
and never went near his University again, but if he had chosen 
and had been selected he might have played for the full term 
of four years. Mr. Leslie, after residing at Oxford for one year, 
went into business in London, but played three years for Oxford, 
and till his last year performed yeoman's service. In 1856, 
Makinson's year, Mr. T. W. Wills, with the concurrence and 
sanction of Oxford, played for Cambridge without ever having 
resided at Cambridge for one single day, though his name was 
entered on the Ofcllege books. However, his part in the match 
consisted of getting five runs in one innings and bowling nine 
overs for one wicket. It appears very clear, then, that Oxford 
have profited by having five matches played on their own ground 
and making use, for five years, of Mr. C. D. Marsham, the best 
bowler they ever possessed, to say nothing of Mr. R. D. Walker. 
Of course the characteristics of University cricket have 
-changed very much, following the example of cricket generally. 
About the first match of all the late Bishop of St. Andrews 
{Bishop Wordsworth), who played in it, very kindly wrote the 
following note : — 



The First Inter-University Cricket Match. — 1827. 

In the newly published Life of my younger brother Christopher, 
the late Bishop of Lincoln, the following words are to be found, 
quoted from his private journal : — ' Friday ' (no date — but early 
in June, 1826). ■ Heard from Charles. He wishes that Oxford 
and Cambridge should play a match at cricket ' (p. 46). And as 
I have been asked to put upon paper what I can remember con- 
cerning the first Inter-University Cricket Match, with a view to 
its insertion in the present volume, I venture to take those words 
for my text. Yes ; I was then in my Freshman's year at Christ 
Church, and both my brother and I — he at Winchester, and I at 
Harrow — had been in our respective school elevens. But more 
than this, as captain of the Harrow Eleven I had enjoyed what 
was then a novel experience in carrying on correspondence with 
brother captains at other public schools — Eton, Winchester, Rugby 
and even Charter House ; and I well remember how the last amused 
us at Harrow, by the pompous and, as we presumed to think, bump- 
tious style of his letter, proposing ' to determine the superiority at 
cricket which has been so long undecided.' Having played against 
Eton for four years, from the first match in 1822 to 1825, and in the 
first match against Winchester in the last-named year, I had a large 
acquaintance among cricketers who had gone off from those schools 
and from Harrow to both Universities. My brother, as I have said, 
was one of these, but though successful in the Wykehamist Eleven 
at Lord's in 1825 (when he got 35 runs in his second innings, and 
' caught' our friend Henry Manning — the future cardinal — of which 
he was wont to boast in after years), he did not keep up his cricket 
at Cambridge, whereas I continued to keep up mine at Oxford and 
was in the University Eleven during the whole time of my under- 
graduate course. Nothing came of my * wish ' to bring about a 
match between the Universities in 1826. But in 1827 the proposal 
was carried into effect. Though an Oxford man, my home was at 
Cambridge, my father being Master of Trinity ; and this gave me 
opportunities for communicating with men of that University, many 
of whom remained up for the vacations, or for part of the vacations, 
especially at Easter. I remember calling upon Barnard of King's, 
who had been captain of an Eton Eleven against whom I had 
played, and who was now one of the foremost Cambridge cricketers, 
and he gave me reason to fear that no King's man would be able to 


play at the time proposed (early in June), though that time would 
be within the Cambridge vacation and not within ours, because 
their men, at King's, were kept up longer than at the other Colleges. 
And this, I believe, proved actually the case ; and if so, some 
allowance should be made for it. But the fact is, there were similar 
difficulties on both sides, and I am not sure they were not as great 
or greater upon ours. In those ante-railway days it was necessary 
to get permission from the College authorities to go up to London 
in term time, and the permission was not readily granted. To take 
my own case : — My conscience still rather smites me when I re- 
member that in order to gain my end, I had to present myself to 
the Dean and tell him that I wished to be allowed to go to London 
— not to play a game of cricket (that would not have been listened 
to) — but to consult a dentist ; a piece of Jesuitry which was 
understood, I believe, equally well on both sides ; at all events my 
tutor, Longley— -afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury — was privy 
to it. 

Thus, though not without difficulties, the match came on, but 
unhappily, the weather presenting a fresh difficulty, it did not fully 
go off. We could only play a single innings ; with the result 
which the score shows. The precise day in June on which it was 
played has been disputed. One report gives the 4th ; another 
states that 'the match did not take place on the 4th as intended, 
but was deferred for a few days.' I can only say that I do not re- 
member any postponement, as I think I should do had such been 
the case ; and what is more, ' a few days ' later would have brought 
it within our vacation, and so would have rendered my piece of 
Jesuitism unnecessary. The players on the Cambridge side were 
mostly Etonians, though there was, I think, no King's man among 
them; and on the Oxford side, mostly Wykehamists. We scored 
258 runs to our opponents' 92, but it cannot be said we were a strong 
eleven. The bowling was divided between Bayley and me ; and the 
state of the ground being in my favour, I was singularly successful 
with my left-hand twist from the off, bringing down no less than 
seven wickets in the one innings for only 25 runs. Jenner, famous as 
a wicket-keeper, and well known afterwards as Sir Herbert Jenner 
Fust, was the only batsman who made any stand against it. He had 
learnt by painful experience how to deal with it. We had been 
antagonists in the Eton and Harrow match of 1822 ; and I can well 
remember even now, though it is 66 years ago, his look of in- 
effable disgust and dismay when I had pitched a ball some four or 


-five inches wide to the off, and he had shouldered his bat meaning to 
punish it as it rose by a smart cut to point, the tortuous creature 
shot in obliquely and took his middle stump, when he had only got 
two runs. Precisely the same happened again in his second 
innings, only then he got no runs at all. Again in Eton v. Harrow 
1823 I had bowled him at 7. And yet he was considered the best 
bat on the Eton side next to Barnard. He now made 47 runs, 
while no one else on the Cambridge side scored more than 8. He 
was also successful as a bowler, taking five wickets, mine included 
(against which he had a very strong claim), though I do not re- 
member that he had much reputation in that line ; and certainly 
upon the whole the Cambridge bowling must have been very in- 
different to allow some of our men to run up the scores which stand 
to their names. 

Though often successful as a bowler (left-handed, under-hand), 
batting (right-handed) was, if 1 may be bold to say so, my forte. 
In 1828, the next year after this match, my average, upwards of 
40, was higher than that of any other in the Oxford eleven. I 
mention this with the less compunction because in the second 
Inter-University match my name appears without a run in either 
innings, and I wish to state how the failure is to be accounted for. 
In that year, 1829, the first Inter-University boatrace took place 
at Henley, and I was one of the eight. As boating and cricket 
were then carried on in the same (summer) term, and the race and 
the match were both to come off in the same week, I wished to 
resign my place in the eleven. But this was not allowed. I had 
therefore no alternative but to make my appearance and do my 
best, though I had not played once before during the season, and 
though I was suffering from the effects of my rowing in a way 
which made it almost impossible for me to hold a bat. However, 
though I got no runs, I was so far of use that I bowled two, and 
caught two of our opponents ; and we won the match, not quite so 
triumphantly as in 1827 (if a ' drawn' match can be so described), 
but quite easily enough, as we had won the boatrace quite ' easily ' 
two days before, Wednesday, June 10th. 

Of the players in the two elevens, who contended at Lord's 
more than 60 years ago, five — if not six — I believe, are still living. 
Who shall say how much the lengthening of their days beyond the 
ordinary span of our existence here is to be attributed to ' Cricket's 
manly toil ' ? 

I have now done the best I could to comply with the request 
made to me as an old cricketer, and if I have been garrulous, and 


if I have been egotistical, I can fairly plead, that this is no more 
than was to be expected when an ultra-octogenarian was applied 
to for his reminiscences. Charles Wordsworth. 

St. Andrews : May 16, 1888. 

In the match of 1827, Oxford, strange to relate, got a 
total of 258 runs, and exactly realised 200 runs in the third 
match in 1836, while Cambridge got 287 runs in the fifth match 
in 1839 ; but from 1839 to 1851, when Cambridge scored 266 
runs, there was no innings played by either side which resulted 
in 200 runs, and this notwithstanding the gigantic number of 
extras that were sometimes given. Cambridge in 1841 won 
by 8 runs, but scored in the two innings 56 by extras. In 
1842 Cambridge again won by 162 runs, and scored 81 by 
extras; while Oxford in. 1843 gained 65 by extras, losing the 
match, however, by 54 runs. After 1851 scores of 200 runs 
and over became more frequent, and still extras formed 
a formidable item in the various totals. Cambridge gave 
34 extras out of a total of 273 in 1852, or 1 run in every 8; 
and Oxford in the same year gave Cambridge 40 extras out 
of a total of 196, or an average of a little under 1 in every 
5. We have made a careful comparison showing the different 
totals and the percentage of extras, and have found the 
following remarkable fact : in the first twenty-six matches the 
total of runs scored came to 11,192, the number of extras 
amounted to 1,767, making the percentage of extras to runs 
amount to a little over 1 to 6. In the thirty-four succeeding 
matches 21,364 runs were scored and 135 1 extras, reducing 
the proportion to 1 to 15. In other words, for the first twenty- 
six matches extras constituted 16 per cent, of the total amount 
scored, while during the thirty succeeding years they only 
amount to 6 per cent. 

As might be expected, the weak point in University cricket 
is the bowling, and the tendency of modern Inter-University 
matches is an undue largeness of scores, though when the 
improved condition of the wickets is taken into account, there 
exists some ground for hoping that University bowling is 
better than it was ten years ago. But when the fact is con- 


sidered that young amateurs in the prime of life play every 
year on frequently perfect wickets, it is rather surprising that 
the scoring is not even larger. That it is not so is chiefly 
owing to nerve, that grand disturbing element in all cricket 
calculations. It is far the most important contest of the 
year for all the players concerned, and if you were to ask any 
University cricketer which match or matches he felt most was 
hoped of him he would certainly quote the Inter-University 
matches he took part in. It is a match, therefore, famous for 
wrecking the reputation of batsmen. Still one may be allowed 
to hope that amateur bowling may improve, as amateur wicket- 
keeping has done. Since 1880 Cambridge has had as real good 
bowlers Messrs. Steel, Studd, Rock, Woods, Jackson, and for one 
year Mr. Wells, while Oxford, in our judgment, has during the 
same period turned out only three really good bowlers, Messrs. 
Evans, Berkeley, and Cunliffe, and for one year Bardswell. 

These ten good bowlers may be compared with the great- 
est in former days — Messrs. C. D. Marsham, Traill, Maitland, 
Fellowes, Kenney, and Butler of Oxford, and Lang, Salter, 
Plowden, Pelham, and Powys of Cambridge, who were all fast 
except Maitland, Pelham, and Plowden ; while only three of 
the later lot of ten, Messrs. Woods, Evans, and Jackson, were 
fast, the other seven being slow or medium. 

No fewer than eighty-three men have played four matches ; 
and it is curious to notice that out of these eighty-three there 
are only one Oxford man and three Cambridge men who have 
played in four winning elevens. The three Cambridge men are 
Messrs. T. A. Anson, W. Mills, and W. de St. Croix ; and the 
one Oxford man is Mr. S. C. Voules. Mr. Voules played in 
the four winning elevens of 1863, '64, '65, and '66, Messrs. 
T. A. Anson and W. de St. Croix played in the four winning 
elevens of 1839, '40, '41, and '42, and Mr. W. Mills played 
in 1840, '41, '42, and '43. Two unfortunate Cambridge men 
had the bad luck to play four losing matches — namely, Messrs. 
R. D. Balfour and G. H. Tuck, in the years 1 863, '64, '65, and '66. 
So far no Oxford man has had this fate. Cambridge once won 


five consecutive matches, and on two occasions they have won 
four, while Oxford has twice won four consecutive matches. 
As may be expected, the runs scored by the more recent bats- 
men altogether exceed the earlier players' efforts. Up to 1870, 
when Mr. Yardley made the first hundred, Mr. Bullock's 78 
for Oxford, obtained in 1858, was the highest individual score, 
and the highest individual aggregates in any one match are 92 
in 1849 °y Mr- R. T. King, 95 by Mr. Makinson in 1856, 90 by 
Mr. Mitchell in 1862, 92 by the same gentleman in 1865, and 
103 by Mr. C. E. Green in 1868. One of Mr. King's innings 
was not completed. So Mr. Yardley in 1870 beat the record of 
any two aggregates by his one innings, except Mr. Green's 
innings in 1868. Since 1870 the individual scores of 100 have 
come fast and furious, and altogether twenty hundreds have 
been played, nine by Cambridge to eleven by Oxford. Mr. 
Yardley is still in the proud position of being the only bats- 
man who has twice got into three figures, and nobody who saw 
either of his great performances will ever forget it. Unless, 
however, there is a change for the better in bowling or an 
alteration in the laws, it is certain that hundreds will come 
with comparative frequency, and we cannot help pining for a 
return to the old state of things when 200 was reckoned a very 
large total. The highest aggregate in any one match is Mr. 
Jardine's 179 in 1892, and the highest individual score is 
Mr. Key's 143 in 1886. No performances are, however, en- 
titled to more credit than Mr. Makinson's aggregate of 95 in 
1856, and Mr. Mitchell's 90 in 1862, and the fewer long scores 
made in former days made a far larger proportion of the total 
runs obtained by the whole side. Mr. Makinson's runs in 1855 
were obtained against perhaps the best bowling eleven that 
Oxford ever possessed, containing Messrs. C. D. Marsham, A. 
Payne, W. Fellowes, and W. Fiennes, while Mr. Mitchell's score 
in 1862 was not much less than half of the total score of his 
side. Against him are to be found the names of Plowden, 
Lang, Salter, and Lyttelton, and never in any match, except in 
the previous year when they had the same quartet, has Cam- 


bridge been so strong in bowling as they were in 1862. The 
highest average has been secured by Mr. Key of Oxford, and 
this amounts to no less than 49. Close behind him comes Mr. 
Wright of Cambridge, with an average of 48*4 ; then Mr. 
Mitchell with 42-4, and Mr. Yardley with 39*5. Mr. Mitchell's 
average is remarkable, as his highest score was 57, though he 
was once not out. Mr. Wright was twice not out, Mr. Key and 
Mr. Mitchell once each ; Mr. Yardley, however, was always got 
out in the end. In estimating these averages we are only 
reckoning the players who represented their University for four 

The earlier bowlers, as far as wickets are a guide, carry all 
before them. Not until the twentieth match, played in 1854 — 
Mr. C. D. Marsham's first year— was any analysis kept. To- 
judge, however, by the standard of wickets, Mr. G. E. Yonge 
of Oxford, who in four years obtained thirty-nine wickets, Mr. 
E. W. Blore and Mr. Sayres, both of Cambridge, who in the 
same time got thirty-two, are entitled to the highest place. 

Naturally enough, as Mr. Marsham played five years and 
was also the best bowler on the whole that Oxford ever turned 
out, most wickets fell to his share. He got forty wickets at 
a cost of 361 runs— that is to say, of only 9 runs a wicket — a 
great performance under any circumstances. Two wides only 
were scored against Mr. Marsham, and there is no record of a 
4 no ball.' He bowled a strictly orthodox round-arm of fast 
medium pace, and generally round the wicket. 

Mr. E. M. Kenney was a very fast and dangerous left-hand 
bowler, most terrifying to a nervous batsman, for he delivered 
that unpleasant sort of ball which pursues the batsman, and 
is apt, to adopt a pugilistic metaphor, to get in heavily on 
the ribs. During the three years that Mr. Makinson played for 
Cambridge he took twenty-one wickets at a cost of 194 runs, 
or just 9 runs a wicket ; and when it is remembered that he 
was also distinctly the best bat in the two elevens each of the 
three years he played, it may be safely assumed that, as an all- 
round man, he has never had a superior, with the exception of 


Mr. A. G. Steel. At the same time it must be admitted that 
in bowling he was quite as successful against Oxford as his 
merits justified. 

The famous Cambridge fast bowler, Mr. R. Lang, played 
three years, and got fifteen wickets at a cost of only 84 runs, or 
a fraction over 5 runs per wicket— an analysis that has never 
been surpassed, and deserves to be quoted as an example 
for young players to emulate. In i860 he bowled in the two 
innings twenty-one overs for 19 runs and six wickets. In 1861 
he lost his pace owing to an injured arm and was unsuccess- 
ful, bowling twenty-six overs for 30 runs and no wicket. In 
1862, in the two innings, he bowled twenty-nine overs for 
35 runs and nine wickets ; and, to take the first innings alone, 
we find he bowled only thirty-four balls for 4 runs and five 
wickets all clean bowled. Considering his pace he was very 
straight, and only bowled 6 wides in all three matches. H. W. 
Salter of Cambridge played two years, and obtained fourteen 
wickets for 74 runs, or a fraction over 5 runs a wicket, another 
extraordinary performance. Mr. H. M Plowden, who played 
four years from i860, lowered nineteen wickets for 153 runs,, 
or an average of 8 runs a wicket. In no previous or subsequent 
years has either University been so amply provided with bowling 
strength as was Cambridge during these three years, as, besides 
Salter, Lang, and Plowden, in i860 she had Messrs. E. B. 
Fawcett and D. R. Onslow, and in 1861 and '62 the Hon. 
C. G. Lyttelton, who bowled for the Gentlemen. 

The greatest bowling feat in the whole history of University 
cricket belongs to Mr. S. E. Butler, of Eton and Oxford re- 
nown, and took place in 1871. Cambridge had some good 
bats in her eleven— Messrs. Money, Tobin, Fryer, Scott, 
Yardley and Thornton, a rough and ready hitter in the person 
of Mr. Cobden, and a fair batsman in Mr. Stedman. But 
Mr. Butler found an old-fashioned Lord's wicket, and he 
bowled a terrific pace and got on a spot which shot and made 
his balls break considerably down the hill. He got the whole 
ten wickets in one innings, and in the match he lowered fifteen 



wickets for 95 runs. His bowling was unplayable on the first 
day ; eight of the ten wickets in the first innings were clean 
bowled, and twelve out of the whole fifteen. 

Mr. Woods, who played for Cambridge for the four years 
ending 1891, bowled 184 overs for 318 runs and thirty-six 
wickets, an average of five wickets per innings at 8 runs per 
wicket, a great record for these days — a feat great enough to 
entitle him to an honorary degree in the opinion of the Master 
of Peterhouse. 

Mr. Berkeley had during his four years an uphill task, as he 
was in three losing elevens, and that means a heavy handicap, 
as every cricketer knows. But considering that he was the 
only real bowler on his side during all the four years he played, 
his record of 196 overs for 341 runs and twenty-seven wickets, 
and 12 runs per wicket, is very good, and such a bowler 
deserved a better fate than to play in three defeats out of four 

It will interest and comfort young cricketers to remind 
them how many great batsmen have failed in these matches. 
We feel sure that these latter will excuse us for pointing out 
their shortcomings ; for they will know that we do so only to 
sustain their weaker brethren and illustrate the glorious uncer- 
tainty of the game. The late Mr. John Walker, who for several 
years represented the Gentlemen, got 19 runs in six innings, or 
a proud average of 3. His younger brother, Mr. R. D. Walker, 
the silver-haired veteran of five Inter-University contests, gal- 
lantly led off with an innings of 42 ; but the result of his five 
years' batting against Cambridge was 84 runs in ten innings, his 
first innings in fact amounting to one-half of the total runs he 
scored in five years. Yet he played for the Gentlemen in 1863, 
1864, and 1865, and these were the last three years he played 
for Oxford. M. A. W. Ridley played for four years, and his 
runs for seven innings came to a total of 61, or an average of 
10 runs per innings, as once he carried his bat. The present 
Lord Cobham, who played for the Gentlemen of England his 
first year at Cambridge, batted exactly on a par with Mr. Ridley, 


as he also made 61 runs in six innings, and was once not 
out. Cambridge men of his date will tell you that on Fenner's 
nobody was ever more dangerous, and his scores for those 
days were enormous. Mr. C. G. Lane— of whom the poet 
wrote. : 

You may join with me in wishing that the Oval once again 
May resound with hearty plaudits to the praise of Mr. Lane- 
played seven innings for a total of 35 runs. Take courage, 
then, young cricketer, and know that if you fail, you fail in 
good company. 

Most extraordinary have been the vicissitudes of fortune in 
several of these matches. Oxford in 1871 had a fine eleven, 
which easily defeated Cambridge by eight wickets ; and in 
1872 they played no fewer than eight of their old eleven. 
Cambridge played seven, and the four new men were the 
famous pair of young Etonians, Messrs. Longman and Tabor, 
the Harrovian, Mr. Baily, and the Wykehamist, Mr. Raynor. 
The odds on Oxford at the start were about 2 to 1. Yet 
Cambridge on winning the toss put together the largest total 
yet realised by either side in any one innings, namely 388 runs. 
The two Etonian freshmen were on the whole entitled to 
the chief honours on this occasion, as for the first time they 
made over 100 runs before the fall of a wicket. Mr. Long- 
man was badly run out by Mr. Yardley after batting for about 
two and a half hours, or else another 100 runs might have been 
put on. When the Oxford eleven went in to bat, not one of 
them could look at Mr. Powys, the fastest bowler of the day, 
except Messrs. Ottaway and Tylecote, who both played remark- 
ably well in the second innings. Mr. Powys secured thirteen 
wickets at a cost of 75 runs, or a trifle under 6 runs a wicket. 

Everybody has heard of the 2 -run success of Cambridge in 
1870, and the 6-run victory of Oxford in 1875. The difference 
between the two matches consisted in the fact that in 1870 not 
till the last wicket was actually bowled down did it appear 
possible for Oxford to lose ; in 1875 the issue was quite doubt- 


ful till Mr. A. F. Smith made that fatal stroke to a plain lob. 
Cambridge in 1870 were on the whole the favourites; not 
that there was much to choose between the two elevens, but 
because they had won the three previous years. In batting, 
Cambridge had Messrs. Dale, Money, and Yardley : and 
Oxford, Messrs. Ottaway, Pauncefote, and Tylecote — quite a 
case of six of one and half a dozen of the other, though Yardley 
was far the most dangerous man. In bowling Oxford were 
handicapped by Mr. Butler's strained arm, which prevented him 
from bowling more than a few overs ; but they possessed Messrs. 
Belcher and Francis, two good fast bowlers. Cambridge had 
Cobden for a fast bowler, Harrison Ward for a medium pace, 
and Bourne for slow round. So while Mr. Francis was some 
way the best fast bowler of the two elevens, Oxford were de-^ 
ficient in variety, while Cambridge possessed all paces and 
also Mr. Money's lobs. Cambridge won the toss and put to- 
gether 147 runs, the good bats all failing, and only Mr. Scott 
doing credit to himself by an innings of 45. Oxford scored 
more equally, though neither Ottaway nor Pauncefote contribu- 
ted more than modest double figures ; the total, nevertheless, 
came to 175, or a majority of 28. The next hour's play appa- 
rently saw Cambridge utterly routed. Mr. Dale stopped all 
that time, but nobody stopped with him. The total at the fall of 
the fifth wicket was 40, or only 12 on. 'We are going to win 
a match at last ! ' said one of the Oxonians to another who had 
been educated at Rugby. ■ Wait a bit,' said the Rugbeian, who 
turned his head and saw Yardley advancing to the wicket ; 'I 
have seen this man get 100 before now.' The companion of 
the last speaker possibly had not seen Yardley perform this 
feat, but he had not long to wait. There are several batsmen 
whose play baffles criticism, and Yardley was one of them. 
He certainly played some balls in a manner that purists found 
fault with, but good judges of the game could see that there 
was genius in his method ; and genius, as we all know, rises 
above canons and criticism. If Mr. Yardley had not touched 
a bat for six months, still he might walk to the wickets and 


play a magnificent innings ; for genius requires little or no 
practice. Those familiar with his play knew that they might 
look out for squalls if he was allowed to get set. Mr. 
Dale was at the other end, playing every ball with a 
perfectly straight bat and in the most correct style. In the 
minds of both of them it was a crisis ; for each knew that 
unless they put on a lot of runs the match was lost, as 
five of their side were out. One mistake and Cambridge 
would have to retire beaten. But no mistake was made. 
Yardley got set ; the bowling was fast and so was the ground, 
and the former was hit into a complete knot. There seemed 
to be no prospect of getting either of them out, when Mr. 
Yardley sent a ball hard back to the bowler, who made a fine 
catch off a fine hit, and the Cambridge man retired with the first 
Inter-University 100. Mr. Dale made a leg hit, and was splen- 
didly caught by Mr. Ottaway with one hand over the ropes. 

In a short time the innings was over, and Oxford had to 
face a total of 179 to win the match. In these days on a hard 
wicket this is regarded as a comparatively easy feat ; but runs 
were not so easy to accumulate eighteen years ago, and the 
betting was now even, Cambridge for choice. One Oxford 
wicket was soon got, and then a long stand was made by 
Messrs. Fortescue and Ottaway, both of whom played excellent 
cricket. The total was brought up to 72 for only one wicket, 
the betting veered round to 2 to 1 on Oxford, and Mr. Ward 
was put on to bowl. This change was the turning point 
of the game. Mr. Fortescue was soon bowled, so was Mr. 
Pauncefote, and with the total at 86 the betting was again 
evens, Oxford for choice. Mr. Ward had found his spot and 
was bowling with deadly precision when Mr. Tylecote came 
in. Both Ottaway and Tylecote now batted cautiously and 
well, and Mr. Ward went off for a time. Mr. Tylecote was 
a very good bat, but compared to Ottaway only mortal ; how 
on earth Ottaway was to be got out was a problem that seemed 
well-nigh insoluble. The total went up to 153, or only 26 runs 
to win and seven wickets to go down ; the betting 6 to 1 on 


Oxford. A yell was heard, and Mr. Tylecote was bowled by 
Mr. Ward, and Mr. Townshend came in. 

Mr. Ward, from the pavilion end, was at this stage bowling 
to Ottaway, who made a characteristic hit, low and not hard, to 
short-leg. Mr. Fryer was not a good field, and Cambridge 
generally were fielding badly, but he rose to the occasion and 
made a good catch close to the ground, so close that Ottaway 
appealed, but in vain, and the score stood at 160 for 5 wickets 
down — 19 runs wanted to win. Mr. Hill now came in, and 
began to play a free, confident game at once. A bye was run 
and a sharp run was made by Townshend by a hit to third 
man, but Townshend was then caught off Ward, and Francis 
came in, and after making a single was l.b.w. to the same 
bowler. During Hill's partnership with Townshend and 
Francis he knocked up 1 1 runs by good bustling play, and he 
now stood at the nursery end to receive the last ball of an over 
from Ward, 5 runs being wanted to win, and Butler in the other 
end. Hill hit the ball fairly hard to sharp short-leg, and 
Bourne measured his length on the ground, stopped the ball, 
and converted the hit from a fourer to a single. Hill got to the 
other end, an over was called and the ball tossed to Cobden, who 
was faced by Hill, 4 runs being wanted to win and 3 to tie. 

We say with confidence that never can one over bowled by 
any bowler at any future time surpass the over that Cobden was 
about to deliver then, and it deserves a minute description. 
Cobden took a long run and bowled very fast, and was for his 
pace a straight bowler. But he bowled with little or no break, 
had not got a puzzling delivery, and though effective against 
inferior bats, would never have succeeded in bowling out a 
man like Mr. Ottaway if he had sent a thousand balls to him. 
However, on the present occasion Ottaway was out, those he 
had to bowl to were not first-rate batsmen, and Cobden could 
bowl a good yorker. 

You might almost have heard a pin drop as Cobden 
began his run and the ball whizzed from his hand. Mr. 
Hill played the ball slowly to cover-point, and rather a 


sharp run was made. As the match stood, Oxford wanted 
2 to tie and 3 to win, and three wickets to go down : Mr. 
Butler to receive the ball. The" second ball that Cobden 
bowled was very similar to the first, straight and well up 
on the off stump. Mr. Butler did what anybody else except 
Louis Hall or Shrewsbury would have done, namely, let drive 
vigorously. Unfortunately he did not keep the ball down, and 
it went straight and hard a catch to Mr. Bourne, to whom 
everlasting credit is due, for he held it, and away went Mr. 
Butler— amidst Cambridge shouts this time. The position 
was getting serious, for neither Mr. Stewart nor Mr. Belcher 
was renowned as a batsman. Rather pale, but with a jaunty 
air that cricketers are well aware frequently conceals a sickly 
feeling of nervousness, Mr. Belcher walked to the wicket and 
took his guard. He felt that if only he could stop one ball 
and be bowled out the next, still Mr. Hill would get another 
chance of a knock and the match would probably be won. 
Cobden had bowled two balls, and two more wickets had to be 
got ; if therefore a wicket was got each ball the match would 
be won by Cambridge, and Mr. Hill would have no further 
opportunity of distinguishing himself. In a dead silence 
Cobden again took the ball and bowled a fast ball well up on 
the batsman's legs. A vision of the winning hit flashed across 
Mr. Belcher's brain, and he raised his bat preparatory to per- 
forming great things, hit at the ball and missed it, and he was 
bowled off his legs. There was still one more ball wanted to 
complete the over, and Mr. Belcher, a sad man, walked away 
amid an uproarious storm of cheers. 

Matters were becoming distinctly grave, and very irritating 
must it have been to Mr. Hill, who was like a billiard-player 
watching his rival in the middle of a big break ; he could say a 
good deal and think a lot, but he could do nothing. Mr. Stewart, 
spes ultima of Oxford, with feelings that are utterly impossible 
to describe, padded and gloved, nervously took off his coat 
in the pavilion. If ever a man deserved pity, Mr. Stewart de- 
served it on that occasion. He did not profess to be a good 

344 CRICKsET. 

bat, and his friends did not claim so much for him ; he was an 
excellent wicket-keeper, but he had to go in at a crisis that the 
best bat in England would not like to face. Mr. Pauncefote, 
the Oxford captain, was seen addressing a few words of earnest 
exhortation to him, and with a rather sick feeling Mr. Stewart 
went to the wicket. Mr. Hill looked at him cheerfully, but 
very earnestly did Mr. Stewart wish the next ball well over. 
He took his guard and held his hands low on the bat handle, 
which was fixed fast as a tree on the block-hole ; for Mr. 
Pauncefote had earnestly entreated Mr. Stewart to put the bat 
straight in the block-hole and keep it there without moving it. 
This was not by any means bad advice, for the bat covers a 
great deal of the wicket, and though it is a piece of coun- 
sel not likely to be offered to W. G. Grace or Stoddart, it 
might not have been inexpedient to offer it to Mr. Stewart. 
Here, then, was the situation — Mr. Stewart standing man- 
fully up to the wicket, Mr. Cobden beginning his run, and 
a perfectly dead silence in the crowd. Whiz went the ball ; 
but alas ! — as many other people, cricketers and politicians 
alike, have done — the good advice is neglected, and Stewart, 
instead of following his captain's exhortation to keep his 
bat still and upright in the block-hole, just lifted it : fly 
went the bails, and Cambridge had won the match by two 
runs ! The situation was bewildering. Nobody could quite 

realise what had happened for a second or so, but then 

Up went Mr. Absalom's hat, down the pavilion steps with 
miraculous rapidity flew the Rev. A. R. Ward, and smash 
went Mr. Charles Marsham's umbrella against the pavilion 
brickwork. l 

1 The difficulty of getting accurate facts about this unique over has been 
immense. The author has before him the written statement of Mr. Hill, a 
copy of the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News containing a letter 01 
Mr. Yardley, who was keeping wicket and was therefore in a position to 
judge, and a letter from Mr. Cobden and Mr. Belcher. In the first edition of 
this book Mr. Stewart is said to have been bowled off his legs ; this is 
inaccurate, and the author apologizes for the blunder. Mr. Cobden com- 
plains of the account generally, and says that all three balls were of a good 
length, and that he never bowled better balls in all his life. The author in the 


One word more about this never-to-be-forgotten match. 
The unique performance of Cobden has unduly cast in the 
shade Mr. Ward's performance in the second innings. It was 
a good wicket, and Oxford had certainly on the whole a good 

above has written what he believes to be accurate, relying chiefly on the 
written evidence of Messrs. Hill, Yardley, and Belcher, and in a less degree 
from what he has heard from some spectators. It was not Stewart that was 
bowled off his legs, but Belcher ; and in order that the public may form their 
own judgment, the written statements of Messrs. Hill, Yardley, and Belcher 
are here inserted. Mr. Hill writes : — ' Belcher was bowled with a yorker 
(half- volley ?) and Stewart with a half-volley, but whether off his leg or not I 
do not remember.' Mr. Hill also writes that on meeting Cobden some years 
later, Cobden repeated that they were three of the best balls he ever bowled, 
to which Mr. Hill replied that they were all half-volleys, and that he believed 
that if he had had any one of them he could have won the match with a 
fourer. Now Mr. Yardley, in allusion to the author's statement that the ball 
that Butler was caught off was straight and well up on the off stump, writes : 
1 As a matter of fact the ball in question was a very long hop, extremely wide 
on the off, so much so that I have no hesitation in stating that if Mr. Butler 
had made no attempt to strike at it the umpire would have called a wide. 
The batsman, however, was possessed of an exceptionally long reach, and just 
managed to strike the ball with the extreme end of his bat to cover-point, 
where it was beautifully caught by Mr. Bourne.' 

Now as to Belcher's ball, Mr. Yardley says : ' The ball in question was the 
most delicious half-volley on the legs, which Mr. Belcher did his utmost to hit 
out of Lord's ground. Fortunately for Cambridge his deeds were not so good 
as his intentions, for he hit too hard at the ball, which he missed, and which, 
striking him on the left leg, cannoned on to his right leg, and from thence on 
to his wicket.' 

On the point of Mr. Stewart's ball Mr. Yardley writes : ' This fourth 
and last ball was the only, straight one of that celebrated over. It was 
an exceedingly long hop, scarcely pitching half-way, and coming along 
surprisingly slow off the pitch. Had it not been for that circumstance Mr. 
Stewart would probably have not lost his wicket as he did, for it was only at 
the very last moment that he neglected his captain's instructions and removed 
his bat from the block-hole, thereby allowing the ball to strike his off stump 
about three-quarters of the way up.' Mr Yardley also writes that the scene 
appears to him as vivid after a lapse of twenty years as it did then. 

Mr. Belcher writes : ' I am quite certain that I was bowled off my legs ; 
the ball to the best of my recollection hit me just below the knee of the right 
leg and went into the wicket. At any rate I am quite clear as to my leg being 
hit, and my impression is that it was a very good-length ball, and not a half- 
volley. I don't think I hit at it all. Of course at such a distance of time my 
recollections are somewhat vague, but the one point I am quite sure of- is that 
I was bowled off my leg.' 

With these extracts before them, the matter is no* left to posterity. 


batting eleven. Yet Mr. Ward bowled thirty-two overs for 
29 runs and got six wickets, and of those six wickets five 
were certainly the best batsmen on the side. He clean 
bowled Messrs. Fortescue, Pauncefote, and Tylecote, and 
got out in other ways Messrs. Ottaway, Townshend, and 
Francis. It is hardly too much to say that in this innings 
Mr. Ward got the six best wickets and Mr. Cobden the four 
worst. In the whole match Mr. Ward got nine wickets for 62 
runs, and this again, let it be said, on an excellent ground. 
Comparisons are odious, however, and the four Cambridge 
men, Yardley, Dale, Ward, and Cobden, have no reason to be 
jealous of each other, and every reason to be satisfied with 

Oxford have got a victory to set off against this Cambridge 
triumph in 1870. It took place five years later, and though 
Mr. Ridley's bowling at the finish was not condensed into one 
sensational over like Cobden's, still the greatest credit is due 
to him for putting himself on at the right moment, fully realis- 
ing an undoubted truth, that lobs are most terrifying to very 
nervous players at a crisis. 

Comparing the two elevens, on paper it would appear that 
Oxford were the better bowling eleven, and were considerably 
superior in fielding. In 1870 Cambridge deserved to have 
lost the match on account of their bad fielding ; in 1875 tne y 
succeeded in doing so. Messrs. Webbe and Lang started by 
making 86 for the first wicket, and Mr. Webbe was twice badly 
missed at short-slip. Mr. Lang ought to have been easily 
stumped. In Oxford's second innings four Oxford wickets, 
including Ridley and Webbe, were down for 34. Mr. Briggs 
came in and was badly missed at short-slip directly, and disaster 
was averted for some time ; and Mr. Game, who scored 22, 
was missed shortly after he went to the wicket. The Oxford 
fielding was very fine all through, though one member missed 
two easy catches. The bowling was more evenly divided ; 
Oxford had more bowlers than Cambridge, though Messrs. 
Sharpe and Patterson were as good as, or better than, Messrs. 


Lang and Buckland. But besides these two Oxford had 
Mr. Royle and Mr. Ridley and Mr. Kelcey, while the two 
Cambridge bowlers had to do most of the work. 

In batting the position was somewhat similar. Ridley and 
Webbe were superior to Longman and the second best Cantab, 
but on the other hand Cambridge were stronger all through. 
On the whole the sides were very even. 

Oxford made a good start, thanks to the politeness of the 
Cambridge field, though both Webbe and Lang played well, 
and fair scores were made by Ridley, Pulman and Buckland, 
but at no time during the match did Mr. Ridley appear at 
home to Mr. Patterson's bowling. The total reached 200, and 
there were 20 extras, of which 15 were byes ; and the Cam- 
bridge wicket -keeping was not up to the mark. Cambridge 
batted on the whole disappointingly in the first innings ; the 
captain, Mr. G. H. Longman, played a very good innings of 
40, but the other scores were below what was expected, and 
again did extras prove of great value, for Cambridge realised 1 7 
thereby. But, on the whole, the Oxford fielding was very fine, 
and both Messrs. Longman and Blacker, who played good 
steady cricket, found great difficulty in getting the ball away. 

At the close of the Cambridge innings Oxford had a valuable 
balance of 37 in their favour, and most thoroughly did they 
deserve this advantage on account of their very superior fielding. 
It is always consoling to an eleven who are beginning their 
second innings to feel that every hit adds to the total that 
the other side must get before they can win, and that their 
energy is not to be applied towards wiping off a deficit. Oxford 
had this balance of 37 in their favour, and very sorely was it 
needed, for their wickets fell with depressing rapidity. Both 
Sharpe and Patterson bowled admirably ; the former had both 
Lang and Campbell with the score at 5 only. Ridley again fell 
to Patterson, with the total at 16, and at 34 Webbe was out to 
a good running catch from short-slip to short-leg. 

The match now looked well for Cambridge, as Ridley and 
Webbe were far superior to their comrades. Mr. Webbe had 


scored most consistently all through the year ; this second 
innings of 21 contained no mistake, and nobody ever could 
have looked more firmly set for a large score. Four wickets 
for 34 was a very bad start, but again did the Cambridge 
eleven show great politeness to their opponents ; for directly 
Mr. Briggs came in he was badly missed at short-slip off 
Mr. Sharpe, and Messrs. Briggs and Pulman raised the score 
to 64, when the former was clean bowled by a lob. Mr. 
Pulman stayed till the total reached 74, when he was stumped 
off Mr. Sharpe for an admirable innings of 30. He had played 
very well in his first innings, but his second stopped an un- 
deniable rot, was quite chanceless, and no innings under the 
circumstances could have been more useful. Mr. Game then 
came in, and again did Cambridge rise to the occasion and 
miss him off an easy chance when he had made 3 only ; and he 
showed his gratitude by hitting up 22 before he was well caught, 
the total being 109. Mr. Buckland was clean bowled by 
Mr. Patterson first ball, and nine runs later Mr. Royle was 
stumped, having played a most useful innings of 21. Both 
Messrs. Tylecote and Kelcey smacked up small double figures, 
and the total of the innings was 137 — a very much better score 
than at one time seemed probable. If the chances had been 
taken the total might not have reached 100, and if a list could 
be made of the matches lost by bad catching, angels would 

Oxford's second innings was not over till a quarter to seven, 
but Mr. Ridley rightly insisted on the letter of the law being 
kept, and five minutes before the drawing of the stumps 
Oxford were in the field and two nervous Cambridge batsmen 
in a fading light were walking slowly to the wickets. Only one 
over was bowled, and a leg-hit for four was the only result. 

We have said that the Oxford captain rightly insisted on 
Cambridge going in, and we contend that Mr. Ridley acted 
wisely and not unfairly in so doing. He had the law on his 
side, and if the law is not to be enforced in the University 
match, when is it ever likely to be ? Mr. Ridley also probably 

mmmiiM%^0 ti ' ls w8m 



anticipated the fact that the Cambridge captain would be un- 
willing to run the chance of sacrificing one of his good wickets, 
and that the order of going in would be altered. This may be 
a considerable disadvantage to the side ; it is not certain that 
it was in the present case ; but Mr. Macan, who went in fifth 
wicket down in the first innings, had to go in considerably 
later in the second innings, and thus a good batsman was 

Messrs. Sharpe and Hamilton went in first ; at the begin- 
ning of the third day Cambridge wanted 171 runs to win, and 
had all their wickets standing. Both Sharpe and Hamilton 
played well at the start, and brought the score up to 21, when 
the latter put his leg in front and departed. Mr. Lucas came 
in, but was clean bowled for 5 runs : two wickets for 26. 
Mr. Longman, the captain, came in, and played steadily and 
well, and the bowling for the first time in the innings seemed 
to be collared ; Lang went off, Ridley bowled three overs for 
1 1 runs, and Mr. Royle took the ball. Mr. Royle's bowling 
proved the turning point of the game. He was not by any 
means an accurate bowler, but at times his balls broke fast 
and were most difficult to play. He bowled three maidens, 
and with the fifteenth ball clean bowled Mr. Sharpe, who had 
played an excellent innings of 29. He had stepped into the 
breach overnight and gone in when twilight was coming on ; 
having passed through that ordeal safely, he completed a most 
useful innings next day. Messrs. Longman and Sharpe had 
brought the score from 26 to 65, but Royle made Blacker 
play a ball on at 67, and clean bowled Longman at 76 for 
a second very good innings. The ball that bowled Mr. Long- 
man was a dead shooter of the old sort, which came back also 
considerably. Messrs. Greenfield and Lyttelton were now in 
together, and the score again steadily rose, though Mr. 
Lyttelton was manifestly uneasy with Royle's bowling. How- 
ever, the total came to 97 when Lyttelton was badly missed, 
and a snick put 10b on the board ; but at 10 1 Greenfield 
made a bad hit and was caught at mid-off, and in walked Mr. 


Sims. Sims this year was a powerful and dangerous bat — in 
fact, he was the most determined hitter in the two elevens, and 
on the present occasion he made a great bid for victory. He 
possessed a bulldog courage in whatever he undertook, and his 
contemporaries at Cambridge could scarcely believe that so 
strong a man could have caught a chill and died so quickly as 
he did some few years later while in full work as an energetic 
clergyman in the North of England. Shortly after Sims had 
gone in, Lyttelton was a second time missed, though fortu- 
nately for Oxford the mistake mattered little, for from a fine leg- 
hit he was grandly caught by Webbe close to the ropes while 
running at full speed. It was not a high hit, but it would have 
hit a spectator on the nose if the fieldsman had not caught it. 
There was no finer bit of fielding in the match than this, and 
it was hard to be got out in such a way, though the batsman 
was lucky to have made 20 runs. The score was 114 when 
Lyttelton was out, or 60 to win and 3 wickets to go down, and 
the betting 7 to 4 on Oxford. Messrs. Sims and Patterson 
played well, and brought the score to 128, or 46 to win, when 
down came the rain and play was stopped for an hour and a 
half. It rained hard for a time, and Oxford had to turn out to 
bowl with a wet ball and field on slippery ground. Mr. Patter- 
son played well, and Sims shut his teeth and went to work 
with savage determination. The runs came fast ; in 20 minutes 
the score had been raised from 128 to 161, when Ridley 
went on to bowl and with his first ball clean bowled Patterson. 
Macan then came in and made a single (13 to win), and 
a mighty whack did one of Ridley's balls then get from 
Sims, who sent the ball over the bowler's head to the ropes 
like a cannon shot, and Lang took the ball from Royle, 9 
runs being wanted to win the match for Cambridge. A leg- 
bye was got from Lang's first ball and a no ball followed, 
making 7 to win. It appeared good odds on Cambridge, for 
Sims did not look like getting out, and his hits had a way of 
going to the boundary. Be it remembered that the ball was 
wet and heavy, and forgetfulness of this fact on the part of 


Sims at this stage cost him his wicket and Cambridge the 
match. Mr. Game was fielding deep square-leg close to the 
ropes by the tennis court, and Pulman was on the on side close 
to the left-hand corner of the enclosure that stands on the 
left facing the pavilion. There was a considerable space 
between these two fields, and off the full pitch on his legs 
which Sims now received from Lang the ball might have 
been swept safely under the ropes anywhere between the two 
men. But Sims no doubt felt as strong and as lusty as an 
eagle, and forgetting that the ball was wet and heavy, got 
under it and tried to lift it over the ropes. The sodden ball 
refused to go so far, and Pulman, running some distance, made 
what with the ball dry and of a normal weight would have 
been an ordinary country catch. With the ball wet and heavy, 
however, his success was the more commendable, and back 
to the pavilion, crestfallen and sad, went Sims. Returning 
for a moment to the 2 -run match, the two men for whom 
sympathy may be felt because the game did not result in 
favour of their side were Ottaway in 1870 and Sims in 1875. 
Ottaway got out when his side wanted 18 runs to win and 
had four wickets to go down, and Sims when only 7 runs 
were wanted and there were two wickets to fall. Both are 
now dead, but as long as any matches in England are remem- 
bered these two innings will be borne in the memory of those 
who witnessed them. 

Mr. Smith had to face a crisis he had long been dreading, 
and he walked apprehensively to the wicket. Mr. Macan, 
who was in, had only received two or three balls, so both had 
to feel their way cautiously. It is, perhaps, true to say that 
at the extreme moments of nervousness climatic surroundings 
have no effect on the constitution ; be this as it may, the air 
was chilly, the ground was wet, and the sun invisible. Probably 
Mr. Smith felt as cold as if he had been in a damp cellar. A 
well-known Harrovian told the writer at this stage that he had 
seen Mr. Smith get over 25 runs against the famous George 
Freeman's bowling. What did that matter if he was unable 


to get six runs against Ridley's lobs ? He somehow or other 
stopped two balls in a doubtful sort of style, and played slowly 
forward to the third, thinking that after the manner of lobs it 
would twist. The wet ground prevented this ; it went on and 
hit the middle stump, and Oxford won the match by six runs. 

We regard this match as a model of what a cricket match 
should be ; the runs were not too numerous, the interest was 
kept up to the very end. It would have been hard lines per- 
haps for Oxford to have lost the match, for the rain that fell 
in Cambridge's last innings was unlucky for the dark blue ; 
it is impossible to bowl or field well with a wet ball, and it hap- 
pened that Sims was just the man to take advantage of this 
state of things. The bowling was managed with great skill by 
Mr. Ridley, and, as we have said before, he realised an un- 
doubted truth, that lobs are often fatal to a batsman who is 
paralysed by nervousness. 

It is not easy to say with any certainty that the bowling at 
the Universities is better or worse than it, was. We are inclined 
to think that, writing in 1898, there are signs that it is better 
than it was between the years 1872 and 1888, but not equal to 
the days of C. D. Marsham, R. Lang, Plowden, and Kenney, 
but in those days it was quite possible for a side to have weak 
bowling, and yet get out their opponents with the help of the 
more difficult wickets. This was the case in 1864. Oxford 
were led by the famous Mr. Mitchell, and were a strong batting 
eleven. Cambridge were fairly strong in batting, but they 
deliberately chose to meet Oxford with only two bowlers, 
Messrs. Curteis and Pelham. So well did these two gentlemen 
perform that almost to the very end the result was doubtful. 
Messrs. Fowler and Booth each succeeded in getting a wicket 
in the first innings, and Mr. Booth one in the second innings, 
but between them they only bowled twenty-two overs in the 
whole match, while Mr. Curteis bowled seventy-five overs for 
eight wickets, and Mr. Pelham fifty-six overs for five wickets. 
This was a fine match, won at the finish by a grand innings of 
Mr. Mitchell's. No man ever went in at a more critical time 


than he did this second innings, neither did anybody ever bat 
with better nerve. Out of 125 required to win the match, no 
fewer than 55 (not out) fell to his share, and Oxford won by 
four wickets. The Cambridge eleven of 1878 had a most extra- 
ordinary run of success, never, as far as we know, equalled by 
any University eleven. They won no fewer than eight matches, 
and not a defeat or a draw is found against them. They beat 
Oxford by 238 runs, and the Australians in one innings. There 
is no doubt that during that year, if a representative English 
eleven had been chosen to play Australia or any other eleven, 
no fewer than four out of the Cambridge eleven would have 
been found in the English team. They were not all good, but 
the superlative excellence of those four made the eleven one of 
the best that has yet played in these matches ; and that of 1879 
was almost as good. 

It may interest some of our readers if we make a few re- 
marks as to the standing of the various public schools in 
regard to the composition of the University elevens. We have 
analysed the elevens from 1861 to 1897 inclusive, and, as is 
perhaps natural, Eton comes first, having had during that 
period fifty-nine of her alumni representing one or other of the 
Universities. We are not reckoning the number of years that 
each played, but fifty-nine different Etonians have in the last 
thirty-three years played in the University match : thirty-four 
for Cambridge, twenty-five for Oxford. Harrow is represented 
by forty-six players : twenty-four at Oxford, and twenty-two at 
Cambridge. Rugby comes next with twenty-nine : nineteen 
for Oxford and ten for Cambridge. At one time Rugby was 
almost on a level with Eton and Harrow, for from the years 
1 86 1 to 1873 inclusive there were always two Rugby men 
playing in the match, and sometimes more ; since that time, 
however, more than two Rugbeians have never played, two have 
played only twice, and from 1884 downwards two only have 
played. Mr. Leslie and Mr. Warner were the last good 
cricketers Rugby sent out, and her prowess seems much 
diminished as compared with the days of Pauncefote, Yardley, 


Francis, Kenney, and Case. Winchester has been represented 
by twenty-three, of whom all but three have played for Oxford, 
while out of eighteen Marlborough men twelve have played for 
Oxford ; but Cambridge men will ever gratefully tender their 
thanks to Marlborough for the services of Mr. A. G. Steel, by 
far the greatest player ever turned out by that school, and per- 
haps the best all-round cricketer that has yet played for either 
University. Seventeen Cliftonians have played for Oxford, and 
two for Cambridge ; but eleven out of fourteen Uppingham 
boys have represented Cambridge. Repton has contributed 
nine players, five representing Cambridge and four Oxford. 
Charterhouse has had nine University players, Tonbridge six, 
Cheltenham and Westminster have had five, and on the whole 
the proportion between Oxford and Cambridge has been about 

Of all-round players both Universities have had their full 
share in numbers. Cambridge has been helped by Makinson, 
A. G. Steel, C. T. Studd, and F. S. Jackson, and Oxford by 
Messrs. Maitland, R. D. Walker, and S. C. Voules. The great 
strength of Oxford in the years 1863-4-5 arose not only from 
the fact that in Mr. Mitchell it possessed one of the five 
greatest bats in England, but also that it had four such wonder- 
ful all-round men as Messrs. Voules, Walker, Evans, and Inge 
in 1863 ; and the same quartette, with the substitution of Mr. 
Maitland for Mr. Inge, in 1864 and 1865. But not one of the 
five was quite equal to any one of the Cambridge quartette, and 
when we say this we take as our basis the performances of the 
four in the University matches ; and we do not consider the 
men who played before 1854, for it is difficult to make fair com- 
parisons over so long a distance of time. The above-mentioned 
four will be found in the first half-dozen of batsmen and in the 
first half-dozen of bowlers. Messrs. Makinson, Yardley, Lucas, 
A. Lyttelton, A. G. Steel, C. T. Studd, F. S. Jackson, and 
N. F. Druce are the best batsmen from Cambridge, and 
Messrs. Mitchell, Maitland, Ottaway, Pauncefote, E. F. S. 
Tylecote, Key, Rashleigh, and Palairet the best from Oxford. 



In bowling, the champions from Oxford are Messrs, Marsham, 
Traill, Kenney, S. E. Butler, and Berkeley ; from Cambridge, 
Messrs. Plowden, Pelham, Lang, Woods, and A. G. Steel. 
This is an opinion only, and would have to be considerably 
altered if we were to take another basis than the Inter- 
University match to draw our conclusions from. Mr. Kenney 
never played for the Gentlemen against the Players, and 
neither he nor Mr. Plowden could be compared as a bowler to 
Mr. Kempson, whose performance against the Players is 
historical. But he failed against Oxford. In the same way 
Lord Cobham, Mr. Ridley, and Mr. Lane were each as good 
as Mr. Pauncefote, but they failed in the Inter-University 
match, and consequently are out of our list. 

The two following tables will show the best batting and 
bowling averages of those who have played for four years, and 
in the case of Mr. C. D. Marsham for five years, in the 
University match. The minimum batting average being 30, 
and the minimum bowling average being 12: — 




Not out 


K. J. Key . 
C. W. Wright 
R. A. H. Mitchell 






W. Yardley . 
A. P. Lucas . 
Hon. A. Lyttelton 
G. B. Studd . 





33 "3 

A. G. Steel . 








Average per 

S. M. J. Woods . 
C. D. Marsham 
H. M. Plowden . 
A. G. Steel . 
W. F. Maitland . 
Hon. F. G. Pelham 
S. E. Butler . 
G. F. H. Berkeley 




8- 3 







(By the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton.) 

At first sight it appears impossible that amateurs — men who 
play when they chance to find it convenient — should be able 
to hold their own against professional cricketers who make 
the game the business of their lives. Cricket, however, is the 
one game where the two classes contend more or less on an 
equality, unless football be also an exception. Many amateur 
cricketers are not bound to work for their daily bread, and they 
can consequently find time to play as much as a 'professional,' 
if the accepted slang in which the adjective is employed as a 
substantive be permissible. Such was the state of things a few 
years ago when the Walkers, the Graces, Mr. Buchanan, and 
others could always be depended on to take part in the annual 
matches against the Players. 

But there are other reasons besides ; and here we tread on 
rather delicate ground. Suffice it to say that at one time, 
and that was when the Gentlemen used heavily to defeat the 
Players, there was such a very thin border-line between the 
status of the amateur and professional, that a definition of 
' amateur ' was often asked for and never obtained. The posi- 
tion was getting acute when finally the Marylebone Club, which 
is not in the habit of moving except when very strong pressure 
is exerted, was obliged to discuss and legislate on the matter. 
Broadly speaking, the rule stands that amateurs may take ex- 
penses, and a difficult and delicate point is now set at rest. 
It is a striking illustration of the great popularity of the 


game that a large and increasing number of men annually 
give themselves up to the profession of cricket, and it is only 
in cricket that amateurs and professionals regularly compete 
against each other. We have heard that from the county of 
Nottingham alone several hundred professional bowlers emerge 
every year, and go to fulfil cricket engagements in various 
parts of the kingdom. The limits of cricket seem likely to be 
extended, and we know of several English professionals who 
have accepted offers from America and elsewhere. So long 
ago as 1864 the famous Wm. Caffyn was engaged in Australia ; 
later on, Jesse Hide, of Sussex, was in South Australia, and 
several other players have been in America. All professionals, 
or nearly all, first come into notice as bowlers. A club with 
a ground wants a man who can bowl to its members for an 
evening's practice, and he has to be there to attend on any 
member who may happen to come. As a rule also, he is re- 
quired to play for the club in the Saturday matches, and he 
may earn by way of fixed salary, together with what he makes by 
bowling at a shilling for half an hour, 3/. or 4/. per week. 

If the club is situated in a county w r hich possesses a county 
club, the professional may have inducements held out to him 
to take up a permanent residence and become a naturalised 
resident. The county of Nottingham, for instance, has only one 
county eleven, but she has hundreds of professionals. These 
men get engagements in all directions, and if they are good 
enough to be asked to play for their adopted county, it would 
be hard to deprive them of a livelihood ; though no doubt it 
is provoking to Nottingham to see the success of Lancashire 
largely owing to the play of Briggs, a Notts man of whose 
virtues Lancashire became aware before his own county. 
Nor is Briggs a solitary specimen, for Walter Wright, Lockwood, 
Bean, Brown, and Wheeler play respectively for Kent, Surrey, 
Sussex, Cheshire, and Leicestershire. 

The congestion of professional ability in certain favoured 
districts is hard to explain. Every cricketer has heard of 
Lascelles Hall, the famous village near Huddersfield, to 


which Bates, the Lockwoods, the Thewlises and Allan Hill 
belong. There are several villages and small towns near Not- 
tingham where cricketers appear indigenous to the soil, just 
as primroses are in certain localities. There have always been 
cricketers in these parts, and so sure is this constant supply 
that some scientific society ought really to go down and inspect 
the spot, make a theory to explain the phenomenon, and read 
a paper about it. Nottingham itself raised and reared Daft, 
Shrewsbury, Gunn, Scotton, and Selby ; the famous Sutton-in- 
Ashfield nursed Morley, J. C. Shaw, Barnes and Briggs in their 
infancy. There are several large towns in Yorkshire, such as 
Sheffield, Leeds, and other manufacturing centres, where the 
traditions of the place are in favour of cricket ; but it is curi- 
ous to observe that, though it was not so in the days of Noah 
Mann, David Harris, and the Hambledon Club, the modern 
professional now springs mainly from populous centres. The 
only reason we can give for this is that for young players be- 
tween the ages of eight and eighteen practice is everything, and 
of this youngsters can generally make sure in populous places. 
In a rural district the same chances may seldom occur. In 
Nottingham and the West Riding towns, hundreds of boys 
may be seen playing almost at the mouth of coal-pits, and 
the practice they get enables them to become professional 

Amateurs are not by any means in the same situation. 
Apart from the natural qualifications any lad may chance 
to possess, he is largely benefited or the reverse by the 
atmosphere of the schools to which he is sent. About the age 
of thirteen he is sent to a large public school, where cricket 
is regularly taught, and he has a great deal of experience if 
he can manage to get into his school eleven. After that he 
may go to Oxford or Cambridge, and if he is fond of the game, 
he may play an unlimited quantity of cricket. Many amateurs 
after they leave the university disappear for ever from first- 
class cricket, as their time then ceases to be their own. 

When we examine the M.C.C. cricket 'Scores and Bio- 


graphies,' we find the same story over and over again : ■ This 
year the Gentlemen had to regret the absence of Messrs. Hankey 
and Kempson.' ' Mr. Felix did not play for the Gentlemen, 
they as usual losing one of their best men.' In a footnote 
attached to the score of the 1847 match at Lord's, the editor 
gives a list of no fewer than sixteen gentlemen who had to 
abandon the game when in their prime. It was in consequence 
of this that in 1862 a match was tried between Gentlemen and 
Players all under thirty, but with no better success for the 

The first Gentlemen and Players' match took place in 1806 
on the old Lord's ground, so the contest between these teams is 
not so old by one year as the Eton and Harrow. It is true that 
in 'The Cricket Field' Mr. Pycroft says that Lord F. Beauclerk 
and the Hons. H. and T. Tufton had previously made an at- 
tempt to get a Gentlemen and Players' match, and the Players 
won, giving the services of T. Walker, Beldham, and Hammond. 
These three men were nearly the best in England, and to call 
the Players a representative eleven without them was absurd. 
The same objection may be mentioned in discussing the next 
match in 1806, when the Gentlemen were helped by two of the 
foremost players : this made a more equal match, but apparently 
rather too much was given, for the amateurs beat the Players in 
an innings and 14 runs. Beldham and Lambert were the two 
given men, and at that time Lambert was unquestionably the 
finest player of the day. A second match was played a fort- 
night later, when the amateurs were a second time victorious, 
and in this case Lambert alone was given. After this match 
there was a considerable hiatus, for the rival teams did not 
meet again till 181 9, when a match was played on even terms, 
the Players winning by six wickets. Mr. Budd scored 56 for 
the Gentlemen, and Tom Beagley 75 for the Players — 

. . . Worthy Beagley, 
Who is quite at the top ; 
With the bat he's first rate, a brick wall at long-stop. 


Mr. Budd in this match stumped six of the Players, and only 
one bye was recorded against him and the long-stop. In 1820 
T. C. Howard, who had bowled for the Players, was transferred 
to the Gentlemen, and they won by 70 runs. In 1821 the 
Gentlemen scored 60 and the Players 278 for six wickets, at 
which stage the Gentlemen succumbed and gave up the match. 
Beagley, who appeared to be partial to amateur bowling, made 
113 not out, and began the long list of hundreds that have 
since been obtained in this match. In 1822 Lord F. Beau- 
clerk bowled finely, Mr. Vigne stumped four and caught two 
at the wicket, Mr. Budd made 69 runs, and the Gentlemen 
won by six wickets. Elated by this victory, in 1823 the 
amateurs again threw down the gauntlet on even terms and 
were defeated heavily by 345 runs. 

This knock-down blow must have cowed the Gentlemen, for 
in the next four matches they played fourteen, sixteen with 
Mathews, and seventeen in the two matches of 1827 ; and 
each side won two. In 1828 there was no match, and in 1829 
and 1830 they stole two players to help them. This was a 
period when the superiority of the professionals was very marked, 
for in 1 83 1, '32, and '33 odds were given on each occasion, 
but still victory refused to crown the efforts of the amateurs. 
In 1832 the Gentlemen defended smaller wickets than those 
of their opponents, but the game was admitted to be a failure. 
The extraordinary result of all the matches between 1824 and 
1833 in which the Gentlemen had odds, was that out of eight 
matches the Players won six. The bowling of W. Lillywhite, 
Cobbett, and others was far too good for the amateurs, and the 
records of the Players were wonderful. 

In 1833, however, for the first time the famous Alfred Mynn 
appeared on the scene. This crack amateur was the idol of 
Kent and the terror of his opponents. Very tall in stature and 
heavy in weight, he was at that time and for many years sub- 
sequently one of the fastest bowlers in England. His physique 
was enormous, and he could bowl a great number of balls 
without any sacrifice of pace or precision. When asked how 


many balls he should like the over to consist of, he said as far 
as he was concerned he should like a hundred. He was a hard 
hitter, fond of driving the ball in front of the wicket, and was 
probably the champion at the then frequently played single- 
wicket matches. It must have been a fine sight to see Alfred 
Mynn advance and deliver the ball ; he took a short run and 
held himself up to nearly his full height as the ball left his 
hand. He was of unfailing good humour, and is immortalised in 
by far the best cricket poem yet published, which may be found 
in the ' Scores and Biographies,' vol. ii. p. 200. Altogether he 
was one of the leading players of his day, and his arrival gave a 
strength to the amateurs that was sorely needed, 

Proudly, sadly we will name him — to forget him were a sin ; 
Lightly lie the turf upon thee, kind and manly Alfred Mynn. 

In 1834 the match was played on even terms, but again 
the result was disastrous to the amateurs, for they were beaten 
in an innings and 2 1 runs ; nor did the assistance of Cobbett 
and Redgate, two of the crack bowlers of the day, save them 
from defeat in 1835, though Alfred Mynn scored 53 and bowled 
down four wickets. In 1836 eighteen Gentlemen won by 35 
runs, and again was Alfred Mynn to the fore, for he scored 29 
and 30 and got eight wickets. In the following year was played 
a match, when the Gentlemen defended three wickets, 27 inches 
by 8, and the Players four, 36 inches by 12. The match was 
the famous ' Barn Door Match,' or ' Ward's Folly,' but again 
the impotence of the amateurs' batting caused them to be de- 
feated in one innings and 10 runs. Thirteen was the highest 
amateur score and the only double figure, and Lillywhite and 
Redgate apparently did what they liked in the way of bowling. 
In 1838 Alfred Mynn was away, so the amateurs helped them- 
selves to Pilch, Cobbett, and Wenman, three good men from 
the professional ranks ; they lost the match, however, by 40 runs. 
This was the last match in which odds have been given. A 
drawn game was played in 1839, an(i tw i ce tne Players were 
victorious in 1840 and 1841. In 1842 and 1843 tne Gentle- 


men gained two victories, the match in 1842 being their first 
win on even terms since 1822. Mynn and Sir F. Bathurst got 
all the wickets for the Gentlemen ; the former scored 2 1 and 46, 
and Mr. Felix played a fine innings of 88, having been missed 
badly at short-slip before he scored. In 1843 tne Gentlemen 
actually won in one innings on even terms, for the first time on 
record. Again Alfred Mynn did excellent service, for he made 
47 runs and lowered eight wickets. Mr. C. G. Taylor scored 89 
runs and then his hat fell on the wicket, or rather it was knocked 
off, which showed that Lord's had a way of testing the bravery 
as well as the skill of batsmen. In 1844 the Gentlemen lost the 
services of Mr. Felix, perhaps their best bat, and Sir F. Bathurst, 
their second best bowler, and were defeated by 38 runs. The 
famous William Lillywhite, who ' handled the ball as he would 
do a brick,' and Hillyer were the crack professional bowlers 
at this time, and sad havoc they made of amateur wickets. 
Lillywhite was fifty-two years old in 1844, two years older 
than W. G. Grace, who in the year 1898 is par excellence 
the veteran cricketer. The era of Alfred Mynn and Sir F. 
Bathurst was the golden age of amateur bowling, for Mynn 
was at the top of the tree in this department of the game for a 
far longer period than any amateur has been since. He played 
twenty matches for the Gentlemen against the Players, and 
though he was generally on the losing side, did great things 
both with bat and ball, especially with the latter. In 1845 tne 
Players again won, old Lillywhite, aged fifty-three, taking twelve 
wickets for 96 runs — a remarkable performance. 

The match for the year 1846 is an historical one for one 
or two reasons. It was the first time that George Parr, aged 
20, and William Clarke, aged 47, represented the Players. 
Both were Nottingham men ; the younger was very nearly the 
best bat in England, and the elder, if not the best bowler all 
round, certainly by far the most successful bowler of lobs that 
has ever appeared. Clarke had played for thirty seasons before 
he was chosen to represent the Players. He died in 1856 at 
the age of 57, played cricket during the last year of his life, and 


took a wicket with the last ball he ever bowled. He was head 
and captain of the ' All England Eleven ' which used to tour 
about the country. Very amusing work it must have been for 
old Clarke, bowling on rough provincial grounds to provincial 
batsmen ; and who can wonder that he, with several other bowl- 
ing captains, had a great dislike to taking himself off? He was 
one-eyed, having lost his right eye while indulging in the manly 
game of fives. He certainly got a lot of wickets in the best of 
matches, but there is nothing to guide speculation as to how 
Clarke and Lillywhite would have fared if they had bowled 
to W. G. Grace and McLaren. Round old Clarke's head, as 
round the heads of Fuller Pilch, Alfred Mynn, and William 
Lillywhite, an aureole has gathered ; they are the great lights 
of that epoch of cricket, and during his career old Clarke must 
have been one of those few bowlers who generally made fools 
of batsmen. 

To return to this year of 1846, as it was Parr and Clarke's 
first Gentlemen and Players, so it was C. G. Taylor's last. This 
great player at all games was an Eton and Cambridge man ; 
and, like many old cricketers, formed the theme of poets. 
1 Taylor the most graceful of all,' one writes, and again he is 
represented as being 

Unlike our common sons, whose gradual ray 

Expands from twilight into purer day, 

His blaze broke forth at once in full meridian sway. 

Mr. C. G. Taylor was evidently born with an eye ; he often ran 
out to bowling to drive, could field splendidly either at point, 
coverpoint, or mid-wicket, and bowled slow round-arm, we are 
told, both well and gracefully. We suspect that, as may be 
inferred from the description of his style of play, there was a- 
weak place in his defence, and he used to have long bouts of 
small scores. But so graceful and altogether fascinating was 
his style, that all his great innings were indelibly stamped on 
the memory of those who witnessed them. In this his last 
Gentlemen and Players match he got 23 and 44. It was a 


great match, won by the Gentlemen by one wicket, and the 
credit was due to Messrs. R. P. Long and Taylor for batting, 
and to Alfred Mynn and Sir F. Bathurst for bowling. 

In the following year, 1847, tne Players again won, but at 
this period the sides were far more even than they had been 
before for any long time together. The redoubtable bowlers 
Mynn and Bathurst were helped by Harvey Fellows, the 
celebrated Etonian, and George Yonge the Oxonian ; and we 
doubt if the Gentlemen have ever been so strong in this line 
since. These two bowled out the Players in 1848 for 79 and 
77 runs, Mynn getting eight wickets in the second innings and 
hitting up 66 runs. In this year, in fact, it is a question if the 
amateurs were not stronger in bowling than batting. 

In the next year, 1849, further triumph awaited the 
amateurs, for winning the toss they scored 192 runs, compelled 
the Players to follow on, and won the match in one innings 
and 40 runs. Alfred Mynn did not get a wicket, but Harvey 
Fellows bowled his fastest, first hurt his opponents, and then 
got them out. Old Wm. Lillywhite played his last Gentlemen 
and Players match this year, and we read that he refused to 
bat in his second innings because he was hurt by Mr. Fellows. 
He was 57 years old, so may be excused if he felt a little ner- 
vous on old Lord's ground at standing up to one who used to 
make the ball hum like a top. 

The famous 'Nonpareil bowler,' as old Lillywhite was 
called, was the king of bowlers in the days when he flourished. 
Mr. Robert Grimston, who remembered him well, said that 
though a slow bowler he was quicker off the ground than 
Alfred Shaw. He lived in the days when wides were common, 
but it is recorded that during his whole career he did not 
deliver half a dozen. He was born in Sussex in 1792, and 
played as a given man for the Gentlemen in 1829 and 1830 ; 
after that began his long career as principal bowler for the 
Players. He was, therefore, no less than 39 years of age 
wnen he played his first match for the Players. If to other 
cricketers may be given the credit of inventing round-arm 


bowling, still to Lillywhite and Broadbridge all honour is due 
for having been the first really good round-arm bowlers. Lilly- 
white bowled in seventeen matches against the Gentlemen and 
got 132 wickets, or close upon eight wickets per match. He was 
occasionally useful as a bat, and though he refused to go in, as 
just recorded, he had plenty of pluck when younger, for in 
a single wicket match he stood up for 278 balls to George 
Brown, to whose bowling Little Dench of Brighton used to 
long-stop with a sack stuffed full of straw to protect his chest. 
Batting gloves were not used in those days, and Lillywhite had 
his fingers broken three times before they were invented. Fuller 
Pilch played his last Gentlemen and Players match this year, 
which is famous for witnessing the farewell of such great 
cricketers as himself and William Lillywhite. Pilch was born 
in 1803, and was therefore 46 years old in 1849. 

Another young tailor, as fine a young man 
As e'er hit a ball and then afterwards ran. 

Pilch was undoubtedly the champion of his day, and his 
mantle fell on George Parr. He was the originator of what 
we call in modern times ' forward play,' and his object was the 
sound one of smothering the ball at the pitch. He was the 
worst enemy of William Clarke, for he left his ground to balls 
that were well up and ran him down with a straight bat. He 
was one of the dauntless five that carried Kent into a unique 
position among cricket counties. 

And with five such mighty cricketers 'twas but natural to win, 
As Felix, Wenman, Hillyer, Fuller Pilch, and Alfred Mynn. 

In 1850 the famous Johnny Wisden came to the front and 
the Players grew stronger, and George Parr made 65 runs not 
out. Wisden and Clarke bowled unchanged, and got rid of their 
rivals for 42 and 58, winning the match in one innings and 
'48 runs in 1850, and in 1851 they also won in a single innings. 
Wisden, Grundy, and Caffyn were three fine all-round men, 
and Joe Guy of Nottingham was apparently quite at home 


to amateur bowling. Both Mynn and Fellows had lost their 
devil, or perhaps it might be more correct to say that the latter 
had lost his straightness and accuracy. In 1852 the Players 
won by five wickets, and the great Alfred Mynn retires from 
the scene as far as this match is concerned. 

In 1853 fine bowling won the Gentlemen a match by 60 runs. 
Both Sir F. Bathurst and Mr. Kempson bowled unchanged all 
through the two innings of the Players, and got rid of them for 
42 and 69. Martingell got seven wickets for 19 runs in the 
second innings of the Gentlemen, so this was essentially a 
bowlers' match ; and though it is an historical fact that it was 
the first time the Gentlemen never had to change their bowl- 
ing, in 1846 Mynn and Sir F. Bathurst got all the wickets, 
and Mr. Taylor was only on for a few overs. Sir F. Bathurst 
might therefore have bowled one end all the time if Mr. Taylor 
had relieved Mynn. At any rate, to Sir F. Bathurst is due the 
credit of being one of the main causes of two defeats of the 
Players. He was a fast bowler with a low delivery, but very 

In 1854 both sides played weak, four Players refusing to 
come forward because of a dispute between Clarke and the 
M.C.C., and the Gentlemen losing Messrs. Hankey and Kemp- 
son. An uneventful match was the result, and the Players 
again won. From 1853 to 1865 the match was played on even 
terms, but the Players had a run of victory, and not once 
during that time did the Gentlemen prove successful. There 
is no doubt that the batting strength of the Players during these 
years was very considerable, and, though George Parr, Hayward, 
and Carpenter did not score their hundreds as the men of modern 
times so often have done, they made their fifties and sixties 
with nearly the same consistency. Parr was a most regular 
scorer during the decade between 1853 and 1863, and his 
average for the whole series of these matches must have been 
very high. 

In 1855 the Players won easily by seven wickets, though the 
Gentlemen began well ; but in their second innings Dean and 


John Lillywhite got them out for 43, five consecutive wickets 
falling without a run. In 1857 the Gentlemen lost several of 
their best men, but the famous Oxonians, Messrs. Marsham and 
Payne, bowled finely, and though the Players had only 70 to 
get to win, they only pulled through by two wickets. Willsher 
played this year for the first time, and he and Wisden were too 
much for the Gentlemen. The year 1857 was an historical one 
for two reasons. In the first place at Lord's was played one of 
the closest matches of the series, a game also famous for one 
of those great batting feats the recollection of which lingers 
long ; and in the second place because a second match was 
played for the first time at the Oval. The historical innings was 
that of Mr. Reginald Hankey, whom George Parr considers 
the finest bat he ever saw. This is the proverbial effort quoted 
by all who saw it as the masterpiece of its day, and Mr. Grace 
himself has never played an innings that made more sensation. 
Mr. Hankey got 70 runs in an hour and three-quarters, and hit 
the fast bowling of Willsher, Wisden, Jackson, and Stephenson 
all over the ground. Messrs. Hankey, Haygarth, Drake and 
Lane amassed 224 runs, the other seven only 58 between them, 
and in the end the players won by 13 runs. Mr. Drake played 
his hardest to win, making a score of 58 out of 114. 

At the Oval the Players won easily by ten wickets, and on 
this ground the Gentlemen lost every match till 1866. In 
those days the Oval was what we should call a better ground 
than Lord's — that is to say, it was more in favour of the batsmen 
and long scores ; and consequently the weak amateur bowl- 
ing was at a considerable discount. In 1858 at the Oval the 
Players won by three wickets, and R. Daft played for the Gentle- 
men for the first and only time. At Lord's in the same year 
the Gentlemen collapsed in batting and lost by 285 runs, the 
bowling of Jackson being at this period an object of dread 
among the amateurs. In 1859 the Players won both matches 
easily, and the famous • Robert Carpenter made his first ap- 
pearance, scoring 44 runs at the Oval. 

In i860, at the Oval, the Players won by eight wickets ; 

B B 


Mr. T. E. Bagge made two scores of 62 and 60, and the scoring 
altogether was very large for those days. Carpenter made 119 
in his one innings. At Lord's the other great Cambridgeshire 
player, Tom Hayward, came on the scene with a vengeance, 
scoring 132 runs, and the Players won in one innings and 181 
runs, though George Parr could not play. At this time the 
tremendous bowling of Jackson and Willsher was at its best, 
and Hayward, Carpenter, Parr, and Daft were too good for 
amateur bowling. In 1861 the Players won in one innings and 
60 runs at Lord's, and in one innings and 68 runs at the Oval ; 
Carpenter for the second time making a hundred. 

In 1862 a famous drawn match was played at the Oval. 
Over 200 runs were made in each innings, and there was curious 
equality of scoring, the highest figures on each side being 108, 
made by Mr. John Walker for the Gentlemen, and by Hayward 
for the Players. The match was drawn, the Players having lost 
eight wickets and still wanting 33 runs. Mr. Walker was bowl- 
ing lobs a good deal in this match, and whilst Anderson and 
Stephenson were batting just before stumps were drawn at the 
end of the day, each having made 33, the famous Tom Lock- 
yer, who could not endure lobs, was continually to be seen 
nervously looking at the clock ; to go in against these dreaded 
balls was a privilege he did not covet. Willsher, Parr, and 
Daft could not play for the Players, nor Messrs. Makinson and 
Mitchell for the Gentlemen. At Lord's a match was played, 
between the elevens, all the engaged being under thirty, and 
the Players won by 157 runs. Mr. C. D. Marsham, the stea- 
diest of all Gentlemen bowlers, played his last Gentlemen and 
Players match this year. He had taken part in ten matches, 
but never had the good luck to be on the winning side. 

In 1863 the great Hayward made 112 runs in his only 
innings, and nobody else except Mr. Walker got 30 runs in the 
match, which the Players won by eight wickets, Jackson and 
Tarrant being quite unplayable on the rough Lord's wicket. 
Mr. R. A. H. Mitchell played for the first time, and, with the 


exception of Mr. Grace, no greater batsman has appeared for 
the Gentlemen, though he did not play for many years. At the 
Oval in the same year Mr. Mitchell scored 76 and 6 j but the 
Gentlemen were weak in bowling, and the Players won by nine 
wickets. At Lord's in 1864 Tarrant and Willsher bowled un- 
changed during the match, and the Gentlemen scored 1 1 9 in 
the two innings; but at the Oval there were a lot of runs made, 
Stephenson putting together 117, and Messrs. C. G. Lyttelton 
and Makinson playing two fine innings for the Gentlemen. 

In 1865 began what brought about a revolution in cricket, 
for W. G. Grace played his first match, and at once began 
to score. Originally more famous as a bowler, he has since 
made runs in a manner and to an extent altogether unparalleled 
in the history of cricket, and soon after his appearance the 
almost dull monotony of professional victory was changed for 
the almost equally dull monotony of professional defeat. When 
he first began to play there was a schism in the professional 
ranks which lasted several years; between 1863 and 187 1, 
many of the crack Northern players refused to play at the Oval, 
and soon afterwards at Lord's also. It is a curious fact that at 
Lord's in 1865 the amateurs won by eight wickets, scoring 
a victory for the first time since 1853, after losing nineteen 
matches in succession. This was W. G. Grace's first match and 
George Parr's last, the latter having scored sixty runs in his 
actual last innings. Grace was sixteen years old, and Parr, 
who first played in 1846, was 39. Parr's average for these 
matches was no less than twenty-eight, and his was altogether 
one of the best and longest careers ever seen. 

Up to 1886 Mr. Grace had played 78 innings in these 
matches, and averaged 45 runs an innings. From that date to 
the present he has averaged 26 runs an innings ; and it is not 
easy to say that anybody is his superior now in 1893. The 
cricket schism weakened the Players very much for several 
years at the beginning of his career, and the matches were 
in consequence not so interesting. At the Oval, in 1866, the 
Gentlemen followed their innings, but won the match by 98 
runs, and this was the first time they were successful at the 


Kennington ground ; but no Northern players appeared except 
, Grundy, Wootton, Luke Greenwood and Alfred Shaw. It was 
the same story in 1867 and in every match till 1872 ; the ama- 
teurs were generally successful. Since that period, however, it 
has always been considered a special honour to be asked to 
represent either eleven, and the Committees at both Lord's and 
the Oval now offer higher terms to the professionals for this than 
for any other match. For some reason which we are totally 
unable to explain, between the years 1867 and 1877 there was a 
blight on the Players . Their batting fell off to an extraordinary 
extent, nor was their fast bowling at all up to the level of what it 
used to be. Of course W. G. Grace was the main cause of the 
apparent weakness of the bowling, but this could not account 
for the great batting deterioration. The Players won at the 
Oval in 1865 and did not win again till 1880, though one 
match was drawn considerably in their favour. Up to 1874, 
including the Oval matches and omitting three unfinished, the 
Players lost twelve matches in succession, mainly owing to Mr. 

If we take the best of the innings of 100 played in these 
matches to the year 1893, we find that there have been 41 
individual innings of over 100 runs played, and Mr. Grace has 
played eleven himself, or nearly a third of the whole ; and when 
we remember that he has had a great deal of bowling to do as 
well, it may be said with confidence that no such performances 
for so many years have ever been seen in the history of cricket. 
In 1873 ne g ot J ^3 runs at Lord's, and 158 at the Oval, and 
in the latter match scored seven wickets in the Players' second 
innings. In 1874 the Gentlemen won by seven wickets, having 
to go in for 226 runs to win. Mr. Grace had got 77 runs in 
his first innings, went in first in the second innings, stayed in 
till 152 runs were scored, and was then out for 112. The 
match was won by seven wickets. 

The most exciting match that has occurred was in the 
year 1877. The Players made 192, and the Gentlemen 198 
in the first innings, and the players 148 in the second. Con- 
sequently, to win the match 143 runs were wanted by the 


Gentlemen. The wicket was not quite a first-rate one, and 
good judges anticipated a close finish. Grace made 41, and 
Alfred Lyttelton 20 j but Watson, Ulyett, and Morley bowled 
well, and the Gentlemen wanted 46 runs to win when nine 
wickets had fallen. Mr. W. S. Patterson and G. F. Grace were 
in, and gradually, by excellent play, the runs were secured. In 
1888 there was another most exciting match at Lord's, when 
both sides were the strongest that could have been chosen, 
except that Shrewsbury did not assist the Players. The wicket 
was very difficult from start to finish, and the Players only 
required 78 runs to win. It was Mr. Woods' first year of first- 
class cricket, and he obtained ten wickets for 76 runs. His 
bowling, together with that of Mr. Smith and Mr. Steel, got the 
Players out for 72, and the Gentlemen won the match by 5 runs. 

In 1883 a tie match was played at the Oval, for the first 
and only time. The wicket was difficult on the third day, and 
the Gentlemen, who lost the services of Mr. W. G. Grace for 
the first time since 1867, were 31 runs ahead on the first innings. 
Bates did well for the Players in the second innings and scored 
76 runs, making his last 30 runs in eight hits. Rain fell in the 
night, and Flowers found a spot. Mr. Lucas, who scored 47 
not out, was really caught at point when he had got 8, but the 
catch was a low one, and neither umpire would give a decision 
when appealed to. So he continued his innings, which was 
hard for the Players. Fourteen were wanted when Mr. Rother- 
ham joined Mr. Lucas, and when 8 runs were wanted Bates 
badly missed Rotherham. When the match was a tie, Peate 
was put on, and clean bowled Rotherham with his second ball. 
The Players had rather hard lines in Lucas's case, but they 
lost the match through the bad miss of Bates. 

In 1879, following the good example set by Sir F. Bathurst 
and Kempson, the Gentlemen won the Oval match without 
once having to change their bowlers. Messrs. Steel and Evans 
were the heroes ; Evans got ten wickets, and Steel nine. The 
wicket was difficult, but the batting was feeble, and only realised 
totals of 73 and 48. 

For the last few years the Players have gradually recovered 



their lost prestige, and reached the high-water mark of excellence 
in 1887, when, for the first time since 1861, they won both 
matches in one innings each. At the date of writing (1898) 
the two sides present very much the same features as have 
distinguished them hitherto. The amateurs are as strong, and 
perhaps a little stronger in batting, the professionals much 
stronger in bowling, though not perhaps so much so as at most 
previous epochs ; but there is one remarkable difference, and 
that is in wicket-keeping. In old days the professionals were 
vastly superior to the amateurs ; now there is practically nothing 
between them, and this fact is probably because of the greater 
accuracy of modern amateur bowling, which makes it easier to 
take, and does not knock the wicket-keeper about so much. 

A survey of the whole series of matches points to the fact 
that, as is natural, the Gentlemen have been, and probably will 
be, beaten as a general rule. Every cricketer knows what it is 
to play in an eleven with a comrade, either a batsman or 
bowler, of commanding superiority. Such a man makes an 
eleven. He does this by giving confidence . to the other ten 
members of the team. They feel that the match does not 
depend on them, that if they fail he will pull them through, 
and consequently they go in boldly and score. The two notable 
instances of one man making an eleven are W. G. Grace and 
Spofforth. Of course there were good players amongst the 
Australians and amongst the Gentlemen, but the presence of 
Grace and Spofforth was an incalculable benefit. The 
Australians began a match feeling sure that, even if they did 
not run up large scores, Spofforth would get rid of their 
opponents for less. 

In conclusion, let us express a hope that the Gentlemen 
and Players match will never fall through : for, having been 
played off and on since 1806, it has a notable history, and it 
ought to be the summit of ambition in every cricketer, be 
he amateur or professional, to appear in these great classic 




(By R. A. H. Mitchell.) 

A six-year old. 

F you want to play cricket 
you must begin as a 
boy, is a true, if not 
an original, remark. 

We remember asking a 
member of a well-known 

cricketing fraternity what promise a younger brother gave 
of future excellence, and his reply was, 'He's no good — but 


then he hasn't had a chance, for he was so delicate he couldn't 
begin till he was six years old.' We do not ourselves presume 
to say that the game must necessarily be learnt whilst a child 
is under his nurse's care ; but nevertheless we know of no 
instance, unless Mr, A. E. Stoddart forms an exception to the 
rule, of anyone attaining to the first rank who has not received 
his early lessons in the noble game while still a boy. If this be 
so, it is of interest to all cricketers to consider what training a 
boy ought to have. Is he to be left merely to the light of 
nature and his own powers of observation, or is he to be sys- 
tematically coached, and taught daily how each stroke is to be 
made and each ball bowled ? Many think that a training of 
this kind can hardly be begun' too soon or carried out with 
too great care and rigour. This may be so ; but we are by no 
means inclined to agree with such a Spartan discipline. We 
believe that in games, as in life, if a thing is worth doing at all, 
it is worth doing well ; but, although we claim to be second to 
none in our keenness to see good boy cricketers, we differ in the 
method we advocate from those who support so severe a system 
of coaching young boys. 

Let us give some reasons in support of our view. In 
the first place, success in cricket, and not in cricket alone, 
depends on the enjoyment and interest taken in the game, and 
we believe that there is great danger of destroying this enjoy- 
ment and interest by incessant coaching and teaching at too 
early an age. In the second place, all coaching has a tendency 
at first to eradicate individual peculiarities and to cramp a 
natural style. Mr. W. G. Grace, Mr. A. G. Steel, Shrewsbury, 
and many . other well-known batsmen have peculiarities of 
their own, which could not have been taught in early boyhood, 
but which might very easily have been cramped, and perhaps 
entirely obliterated, much to their detriment, in the hands of 
even a skilful coach. We do not deprecate all advice even 
to very young boys, but we dislike anything that tends to 
interfere with the powers of nature ; and although we shall 
be told that a good teacher merely directs them in the best 


possible way, we do not think that the advantage likely to be 
gained will at all compensate for a cramped style or loss of en- 
joyment. What should be taught, and when, we will endeavour 
to suggest as we proceed. 

First, however, one word to anxious parents* and teachers of 
the art. It is quite hopeless to expect that every boy can be 
made into a cricketer. Countless are the excuses we hear to 
cover the feebleness and incapacity of would-be players, made 
sometimes by their parents, sometimes by themselves. They 
have never been coached, or they have been badly coached ; 
they have been made to play too much, or they can't play often 
enough ; the ground they play on is so rough, or it is so easy 
that they can't play on more difficult ground. They used to 
bowl very well ; but they were overbowled, or they were never 
put on ; or they are always put on at the wrong end, or the 
catches are always missed off their bowling. These and many 
other excuses are urged on their behalf ; but those who have 
watched cricket for but a few years will soon learn to take such 
futile pleas for what they are worth. No boy can become a 
good cricketer who has not a natural capacity for the game. 
The batsman must have a good eye and is all the better for 
a good nerve ; the fieldsman must be active; the bowler — ah! 
what must he have? Nascitur non fit; we will not commit 
ourselves at present to his requirements. 

In saying this do not let it be supposed that we wish those 
only to play cricket who are likely to become good cricketers — far 
from it; but we are concerned with the game as an art and not 
as an exercise, and do not wish to raise vain hopes of success 
where success is impossible. 

Now let us consider the three great departments of the game 
in detail; for, although they are necessarily and closely connected, 
we cannot treat of batting, bowling, and fielding in the same 

The batsman then first demands our attention, not because 
he is more useful to his side than the' bowler, but because it is 
here that more may be taught than in any other department of 


the game. Take a boy ten years old —we start with double 
figures, let it be an omen for his future ! — what can we tell 
him ? Very little, we think, but certainly this : never to move 
his right foot, but to plant it firmly just inside the crease, with 
the toe barely clear of the leg-stump. 

The left foot should also be placed in the same line, but it 
must be moved into the position which is found to be the easiest 
for playing or hitting any given ball. The batsman must learn 
to stand perfectly still with his eye fixed on the bowler's hand, 
and he must try to think of the ball, and the ball alone; any 
fidgeting about is apt to interfere with an accurate habit of 
sight. A boy should also be told to drive the ball in front of 
the wicket and along the ground. We do not approve of the 
cut for young boys; it is the batsman's most finished stroke, but 
it is absolutely fatal when attempted at an unsuitable ball. This 
is all we think it necessary to teach our juvenile batsman, though 
occasional hints beyond this may sometimes be useful. Do not, 
however, cramp a boy who is disposed to hit, but tell him to hit 
straight ; it is easier at a later age to stop hitting than to teach 
it. For this reason single-wicket matches among small boys 
are not without their use, as they naturally encourage hard hit- 
ting in front of the wicket. 

A danger which is not sufficiently guarded against at some 
private schools is the habit of allowing young boys to play 
to fast bowling; masters and others take part in the games 
and the practice, and bowl at a pace which would be called 
medium in a man's match, but which is very fast for boys under 
fourteen years of age. The result of this is that boys learn to 
be afraid of the ball ; and if they once show fear they will never 
become good players. It seems all but impossible to restore 
confidence even at a much later age, and we know of many 
instances — we will not be so unkind as to mention names — in 
which boys with great natural powers have never overcome their 
fear of the ball, which they had acquired before coming to a 
public school. For the same reason the growing custom of small 
boys playing in men's matches is to be strongly deprecated. 


Drawing away from the wicket. 

matches we 
strongly ap- 
prove of, but boys 
of fourteen and un- 
der ought not to 
play in matches with 
full-grown men. If 
a boy with a natural 
gift for cricket has 
learnt by the time 
he enters a public 
school to stand 
firmly and play the 
ball in front of the 
wicket, he has learnt 
all that is necessary 
to turn him out a 
good batsman later 

3 8o CRICKET. 

on ; but if fast bowling has taught him to fear the ball, we 
have but little hope of ever seeing him attain to the first class. 

A few years have elapsed, and our young batsman at the 
age of thirteen or fourteen is passing into the larger sphere of 
a public school. What ought to be his training there ? 

It cannot be expected that he will receive the same attention 
that will be given at a later age, when he is a candidate for 
his school eleven, nor do we think that he need be subjected 
to any rigorous system of coaching. On the other hand, he 
ought to have some one of experience to give him occasional 
hints and instil into him the true principles of the game. 
Above everything else, he should have good ground to play 
upon, so that, if his confidence has not been previously shaken, 
he will not now learn to shrink from the ball. The question 
of ground must always be a great difficulty ; for, although it 
may be easy to get an extent sufficient to satisfy the require- 
ments of a large public school, it is no easy matter to keep it 
in proper order and provide good match and practice wickets 
throughout the summer for a large number of boys, especially 
as the ground is generally required for football or other purposes 
during the winter. However, the better the ground the better 
the batsmen ; and if this be true, a good ground is one of the 
most important requirements in the training of our cricketers. 

As a boy grows in years he will require, and will probably 
get, more instruction, and if he meets with a coach of good 
judgment and experience he will soon learn all that can be 
taught. His success will depend on his own natural powers, 
his temper, and his perseverance. We do not propose to deal 
in detail with all the duties of a coach, but perhaps a few hints 
may not be altogether out of place. 

First of all, then, we would say, do not coach a boy too 
often. Once a week is all that is either necessary or desirable. 
A boy who is anxious to learn will lay to heart the hints and 
instructions he has received, and he will find it easier to carry 
them out when he is practising with his schoolfellows than 
when he is actually receiving instruction from a coach. A 


new attitude or a new stroke always presents great difficulty, 
easy as it may seem in itself; and a boy who is trying some- 
thing new will not at first play better, and will become nervous 
and disheartened if he is being too constantly pressed by an 
ardent teacher. 

Do not let a boy practise for more than half an hour at a 
time, or he will become careless and lose interest. During that 
time he should play to both fast and slow bowling, but never 
to more than two bowlers; and it would be well if he 
could play for a quarter of an hour to two slow bowlers, and 
another quarter to two fast. It is confusing to some boys to 
receive fast and slow balls alternately, particularly when they 
are trying to alter or improve some point of style under the 
direction of a coach. 

Do not allow boys to play to fast bowling on bad wickets : 
slow bowling on a bad wicket is a good lesson occasionally, as 
it necessitates careful watching of the ball and accurate timing; 
but fast bowling on bumpy ground can only do harm. Never 
allow throwing instead of bowling, — it does infinite mischief. 

A coach will naturally have to give instruction on numerous 
points, and try to get his pupil to carry out what he teaches; 
but there is one warning which must be impressed on the lad 
more strongly than anything else. It is this : when you go to 
the wicket in a match don't be thinking of this or that position, 
or this or that stroke, but fix your eye on the bowler's hand as 
he comes up to bowl. Think of and watch the ball only ; if 
you learn correct habits in practice, your instinct will throw you 
into the right position and enable you to make the right stroke, 
provided that your eye does not fail you with the ball. 

We do not purpose to describe how each stroke should be 
made or to enumerate all the instructions that should be given 
to the youthful batsman ; for such details would be long and 
wearisome, and entirely unnecessary for the guidance of anyone 
who understands the true principles of the game ; and certainly 
no one ought to try and teach until he has (at all events theo- 
retically) mastered these, though it is by no means necessary 


for a good coach to be himself a first-rate exponent of the 
batsman's art. We would point out, however, that, apart from 
natural gifts, over which the coach has no control, the most 
important point to teach the batsman is first to watch the ball; 
secondly, to throw himself at the right moment into the right 
position— if he can do this, it is an easy matter to hit or play 
almost any given ball ; thirdly, to meet the ball either in playing 
back or forward, and not to play in front of the left foot when 
playing forward or behind the right when playing back. 

And now what are we to say of the bowler's art? How are 
we to teach our boys the most unteachable department of the 
game ? This part of our subject we approach with many mis- 
givings, and though we wish to limit our advice to what is 
strictly practical, we feel that this very limit will make many 
think that our hints are but meagre and uninteresting. 

We must again * put back the clock ' (oh that some" of us 
decrepit cricketers could do so in reality !) to the age of ten. 
Again we ask for some natural power of propelling a ball with 
ease, strength proportioned to age, perseverance, and a real 
love of the game. Given these materials to work upon, how 
are we to begin ? First of all, let the distance be short, cer- 
tainly not more than eighteen yards at the age of ten ; let the 
ball be smaller and lighter than the regulation size, and let a boy 
be taught at first to aim only at one length ; as he becomes 
fairly master of straightness and pitch, let him try to vary the 
length a little, but not too often, or he may sacrifice regularity 
and injure his delivery. Change of pace can hardly be looked 
for at this age; but great care should be taken to prevent a boy 
from bowling fast, and he should not bowl for long together. 
In practice it is a good plan to take alternate overs with another 
boy, as it is easier to bowl four or five balls well and then rest 
than to go on bowling a greater number. A boy should be 
taught to measure the distance he runs before delivering the 
ball, and he should learn to bowl on both sides of the 
wicket. Great care should be taken to prevent a boy from 
bowling too much ; and if his bowling seems to be getting 


worse rather than better, let him leave off for some days. We 
offer no advice on the more abstruse arts of bowling, as the sub- 
ject has been exhaustively treated in a previous chapter. 

Supposing that our boy bowler has by the age of fourteen 
acquired straightness and pitch, with some power of variation, 
will he have a fair chance of improving his bowling and 
distinguishing himself when at a public school ? We fear 
that this will be a trying time — indeed must be so, even if he 
is taken in hand by some one who understands and takes an 
interest in the game. In the first place, batting is more attrac- 
tive to most boys ; in the second, the young bowler will prG- 
bably have a very indifferent field, and the missing of catches 
tempts the youthful player to abandon the slower pace for the 
faster, with disastrous results to himself. Almost all young 
boys wish to bowl as fast as they can, and this ends frequently 
in ruining a good action and a good arm which had at one 
time threatened the fall of many a good wicket. 

At this point, then, in a bowler's career, public schools, we 
think, have something to answer for; but we do not agree with 
those who say that subsequently, when a boy is old enough to 
be a candidate for his school eleven, there is any great lack of 
system or careful training. Rather, if a short digression may 
be pardoned, we think that the Universities, or the laziness of 
University men, may chiefly be blamed for the dearth of gentle- 
men bowlers. Our argument shortly stated is this. If we com- 
pare gentlemen bowlers of the age of nineteen with professionals 
of the same age, we shall find that the former have nothing to 
fear from the comparison. But pass on for five or six years, 
and the gentlemen are seen to be behind in the race for pre- 
eminence. Can this be the fault of public schools ? Is it not 
rather that after leaving school few, scarcely any, systematically 
practise bowling, although they are just at the right age to 
improve, having stronger muscles and more experience, to say 
nothing of leisure hours and increased opportunities? If 
University men would practise their bowling both at nets and 
in matches with the same assiduity that boys do at a public 


school, we think that it would approach more nearly to the pro- 
fessional standard than it now does. 

We do not propose tc offer our readers any special advice as 
to the method of attack, which will naturally vary with different 
batsmen. Experience and observation will suggest what may 
be done, if we can only teach our young bowler to bowl straight, 
to vary his length, and as he gets older his pace, and if nature 
has given him strength, and a happy genius enables him to make 
the ball turn more or less at will. Let us leave the bowler 
himself, and see if we can offer any hints on providing him 
with a good field. 

It is a common fallacy to suppose that anyone can field 
well if he takes the trouble to do so. With this we cannot 
agree; but we feel strongly that most cricketers might improve 
themselves very much in this department if they took the same 
pains they do to improve their batting. 

But we must return to our small boys. First of all, let us 
teach them to catch by throwing the ball from one to another, 
and let the ball be small, proportioned to the size of their hands. 
Teach them to take the catch opposite the upper part of the 
chest, when they can get to it in that position, and to draw 
their hands back as the ball comes into them. Do not keep 
them too long at this, or they will find it irksome. Vary with a 
little ground fielding, but do not let them throw too often or 
too far, or their arms will soon go, and you will ruin your bowlers 
and your throwers as well. It is not, however, at this early age 
that the most special attention ought to be given to fielding. 
It is rather at our public schools that we here look for improve- 
ment; this is the time at which we think most may be done. As a 
boy gains strength and activity he gains two of the qualities most 
necessary for a good fieldsman, andif nature has given himagood 
big pair of hands and the power of throwing, it will be owing to 
his laziness if he does not become a valuable aid to any bowler. 
We might dwell on the necessity of keenness, watchfulness in 
the field, position for starting, and many other essentials, but we 
have said enough for practical purposes ; all else will be easily 


learnt by a boy who has the energy and determination to train 
himself into a good field. 

It will be noticed that in our suggestions to the batsman we 
have not advised him to make that use of his legs in defending 
his wicket which now finds such favour with our leading 
players. We confess to regarding this as an ignoble art; but we 
admit that if the l.b.w. rule is to continue as at present, the art, 
ignoble as it is, must be taught in self-defence, or our pupils 
will necessarily be handicapped in being expected to stop balls 
which break and turn with their bat instead of with their legs. 
Fortunately age will relieve us personally of teaching how this 
may best be done. It is for the rising generation either to 
alter the law or to learn the art of getting in front of the wicket 
when the ball does not pitch straight. 

It is in vain to lament over long scores and unfinished 
matches, over dearth of bowlers and slackness in the field, 
whilst all the time we are doing everything we can to make 
matters easier and easier for the batsman, giving him perfect 
wickets, on which he can score 100 runs without getting out of 
breath, devoting his legs to the new purpose of systematical 1 y 
intercepting the more difficult balls. How different this from 
having honestly to run out every hit, and from being compelled 
to play a real 'snorter ' before the breath is fairly recovered after 
the effort of running several fourers in succession ! 

c c 

3 86 CRICKET. 



(By the Hon. R. H. Lyttelton.) 

It is necessary in any work which professes to treat of ciicket 
generally, that the laws and regulations of single wicket should 
be discussed, though the subject is not of much importance 
in these days; for, as far as first-class cricket is concerned, the 
game played with only one wicket has vanished altogether. 
Some few years ago, if an ordinary three-day match were over 
early, a scratch single-wicket match was sometimes improvised ; 
but the effect was generally depressing. 

Few people now take the trouble to read through the rules 
which govern single-wicket matches, and the almost total 
disappearance of such games may be mainly attributed to 
two circumstances : (i) The great increase in the number of 
three-day matches ; (2) the diminution in the number of fast 

In the days of Alfred Mynn and Fuller Pilch matches 
practically never took more than two days, and first-class con- 
tests were in number about one-half what they are at present. 
A professional of the front rank, such as Lohmann or Barnes, 
nosv has to play two matches a week, and if a match is over on 
the second day, he is only too glad to have a rest before 
beginning again elsewhere, it may be more than a hundred 
miles away. The public also have the opportunity of seeing 
such a quantity of first-class play, that there is no demand 
for single-wicket matches. 

In the second place, the rules of single- wicket cricket make it 


essential that driving in front of the wicket must be the staple 
stroke of the batsman, and for this reason, because the second 
rule provides that, to entitle the striker to a run, the ball must 
be hit before the bounds. Now the bounds are placed twenty-two 
yards each in a line from the off and leg stump, and there 
must be bounds unless there are more than four players on 
each side. The third rule compels the striker at the moment 
of hitting the ball to have one of his feet behind the popping 
crease and on the ground. These two laws contain the essence 
of the game of cricket as played with a single wicket. It is 
not sound cricket to play any bowling that may be called slow in 
the widest sense of the term with your right foot absolutely 
fixed. In the chapter on Batting the young player is advised to 
go out of his ground to slow bowling of a certain length and 
drive. But at single wicket the batsman may not move even 
an inch in front of the popping crease, to get a lob, for instance, 
on the full pitch. So the effect of bowling slows in a single- 
wicket match is that a batsman must abandon what may be 
called the orthodox and correct method of play, and merely 
wait till he gets a ball far enough up for him to drive it without 
getting out of his ground. 

No correct player can ever drive slows, unless they are right 
up, without going out of his ground, and a great many would 
be so cramped that they would be at a disadvantage altogether, 
and obliged to play an ugly pokey game. If a slow bowler with 
perhaps two or three fields were bowling to Mr. Webbe, who 
plays slows as well as anybody in England, that gentleman 
would find himself obliged to abandon his natural game, stand 
still, watch the ball carefully, and play it gently, till he got a 
real half-volley or outrageous long-hop, off which he could 
score. But if certain skilful bowlers were on, the batsman 
would very likely have to wait the best part of an hour before 
such a ball came ; and it would be sadly dull to watch such a 

If five play on a side bounds are abolished, the slow 
bowling may get hit behind the wicket, and so the game be- 


comes considerably livelier. The run consists of touching the 
bowler's stump with the bat and getting back to the popping 
crease. Thus one run at single wicket is exactly equivalent to 
two at double wicket. To get three runs in one hit if there 
are two fields is almost an impossibility, though it has been 
done. There is no wicket-keeper, and nothing can be scored 
by byes, leg-byes, or overthrows. To run a man out, it is 
necessary that the bowler run to the wicket and put it down, 
unless of course it is thrown down. The fieldsman must return 
the ball so that it shall cross the ground between the wicket 
and the bowling stump, or between the bowling stump and the 
bounds ; and three are scored for a lost ball. 

In very ancient times five players a side used often to con- 
tend at single wicket, and in this sort of match there are no 
bounds, though the batsman must have his right or left foot on 
the ground behind the popping crease when the ball is hit. 

Single-wicket matches were once very common. Indeed, 
during the last century they were played nearly as often as 
double- wicket games, and we will briefly notice some of the 
most famous. 

In the year 1772 five of Kent with Minshull beat five of 
the famous Hambledon Club by one wicket, but in 1773 the 
same five men of Hambledon vanquished five men of Eng- 
land. Happy village of Hambledon that could thus defeat AH 
England, a deed that at double wicket no county could ac- 
complish now ! With the redoubtable Lumpy given, the same 
village in 1781 beat England by 78 runs, five players on a side. 
In the following year six of Hambledon beat six of Kent, 
and the Duke of Dorset, Privy Councillor, Knight of the 
Garter, and Lord Steward of the King's Household, played for 
the village against his own county, for what reason history 
telleth not. John Nyren says that this nobleman 'had the 
peculiar habit, when unemployed, of standing with his head on 
one side.' He is also celebrated in verse : 

Equalled by few he plays with glee, 
Nor peevish seeks for victory. 


His Grace for bowling cannot yield 
To none but Lumpy in the field. 
And far unlike the modern way 
Of blocking every ball at play, 
He firmly stands with bat upright 
And strikes with his athletic might, 
Sends forth the ball across the mead, 
And scores six notches for the deed. 

The Duke must have been the first who conceived the idea 
of international cricket; for while ambassador in France he 
wrote to Golden, of Chertsey, to form an eleven to play at Paris, 
Unfortunately, when they had got as far as Dover, they met 
his Grace, who had to flee the faithless Frenchmen in conse- 
sequence of a revolution, and the match was abandoned. 

Six of Hambledon again beat six of England in 1783, but 
six of Kent defeated the village in 1786. This was a famous 
match, though seeing T. Walker batting for nearly five hours 
for 26 runs must have been a trifle monotonous. A Kent 
player named Ring went in when 59 runs were wanted to win 
and two more wickets to go down. He made 15 overnight, and 
Sir Horace Mann promised him a pension if he carried out his 
bat, and, we presume, won the match. He failed to do so, but 
got out when 2 runs were wanted. Aylward then went in and 
played 94 balls before he made the winning hit. We hope 
Sir Horace Mann gave the pension to Ring, for he must have 
deserved it. 

Six of Hampshire twice beat England in 1788, and in 1789 
a drawn match was played between six of Kent and six of 
Hants. In this match betting at the start was 5 to 4 on Hants, 
but David Harris was seized with the gout, and the betting, 
therefore, stood at 5 to 4 on Kent. David Harris used some- 
times to walk to the ground on crutches, but bowled splendidly, 
we are told, when he got warm. 

In 1806, three of Surrey — William Lambert, Robinson, and 
William Beldham — beat three of England — Bennett, Fennex, 
and Lord F. Beauclerk — by 20 runs. This was the famous 


match whe,n Beldham, father of thirty-nine children — none, so 
far as we know, cricketers — took a lump of wet dirt and saw- 
dust, and stuck it on to the ball, which developed an extra- 
ordinary twist and bowled Lord Frederick out. His lordship 
was of an irritable disposition, and must have been very angry 
at this, for he had made 30 runs and was well set. 

In 1 8 14, Osbaldeston, Budd, and Lord F. Beauclerk beat 
three of England — Sherman, T. C. Howard, and Lambert. The 
famous Squire Osbaldeston clean bowled all his rivals in 
each innings for 1 9 runs only. The Squire, whose reputation 
as an all-round sportsman still survives, was the fastest bowler 
of his day. In 18 18, so great was his fame and that of Lambert, 
that they challenged Budd, Humewood, T. C. Howard, and 
George Brown; but the four won in one innings, which so pro- 
voked the Squire that he withdrew from the M.C.C. — another 
irritable man. 

The celebrated William Lambert alone beat two accom- 
plished cricketers, Lord F. Beauclerk and Howard, by 15 runs. 
The Squire was too ill to play, so Lambert played them both, 
and drew the stakes, 100/. Up to 1827, wides counted for 
nothing, and Lambert bowled wides on purpose to Lord F 
Beauclerk to put him out cf temper. They were a choleric 
race in those days. The fame of Lambert is tarnished for selling 
a match at Nottingham, and he was warned off the ground at 
Lord's for ever. 

Mr. Budd in 1820 played a fast bowler called Brand, the 
match ending most disastrously for the latter. Mr. Budd went 
in first, got 70 runs, knocked his wicket down on purpose, 
and bowled his opponent out for o. Budd then got 31, again 
knocked his wicket down, and again bowled his rival out for 
nothing. Mr. Brand ended his days in a lunatic asylum ; we 
hope the malady was not brought on by this match, which was 
got up by Mr. Ward, who backed Mr. Brand. 

The two brothers Broadbridge, one of whom was called 
1 our Jem,' beat George Brown and Tom Marsden of Sheffield 
in 1827, but were beaten in the return match. In 1832 Alfred 


Mynn played his first important single-wicket match against 
Thomas Hills, Mynn winning with his wicket standing. Hills 
said that Mynn bowled at least 50 wides, which seems to prove 
that the chief bowlers of that day must have been slightly 
deficient in accuracy. Why in this match the wides were not 
reckoned is not clear, the rule scoring against the bowlei 
having been put in force some few years before. A return 
match was played, and Mynn again won, this time in one 
innings, and Hills retired, satisfied, we suppose, that in Mynn 
he had found his master. 

In 1833 Mynn and Pilch were perhaps the two greatest all- 
round players, and Marsden of Sheffield in this year challenged 
the immortal Pilch, who won in one innings and 70 runs. 
Pilch was not a great bowler, neither was he fast, but Marsden's 
style was fast underhand, and Pilch's bat was too straight 
for such bowling. In the return Pilch got 78 runs in the first 
innings and 100 in the second, and won the match by 127 
runs. The supremacy of Pilch over Marsden was fully asserted 
by these two matches, and Marsden must have returned to 
Sheffield somewhat crestfallen. 

Next Marsden may come, though it here must be stated 
That his skill down at Sheffield is oft overrated. 

But the Yorkshiremen, we know, are always proud of their 
countrymen. Pilch was a great batsman, and we do not feel 
surprised that he scored so largely against fast underhand 

The ground ought to have been now cleared for a match 
between Mynn and Pilch, and great would have been the 
interest if such a game had been played— Voltigeur and The 
Flying Dutchman would have been nothing to it. The two 
men belonged to the same county, so probably there was wanting 
a sufficient motive ; but together they would probably have 
beaten any three other cricketers. 

Mr. Mynn next heavily defeated James Dearman of Sheffield 
twice, in the first match by 112 runs, and again in one innings 


and 36 runs. Mynn scored 46 in the last innings off 46 hits, 
which sounds strange, but then, as is recorded naively in the 
* Scores and Biographies,' Mynn was always a great punisher. 

Mr. Felix next challenged Mr. Mynn, and he must have 
been of a sanguine temperament to have done so ; for, though 
perhaps a better bat than Mynn, he was a left-handed lob 
bowler, a delivery not suited for single-wicket matches. The 
first game Mynn won in one innings and 1 run, only 9 runs 
being made in the whole match. In Felix's second innings 
Mynn bowled 247 balls for 3 runs. Single- wicket matches 
had already begun to get out of favour ; this was the most im- 
portant that had taken place for some time, and Squire Osbal- 
deston was a spectator. In the return Mynn won by one wicket, 
and this was a small scoring match. Mynn now was left un- 
challenged, having won all the single-wicket matches in which 
he was engaged alone. In 1847 Wisden beat Sherman twice. 
Thomas Hunt of Chesterfield was a great single-wicket match- 
player, and beat Chatterton, Dakin, Charley Brown, and R. C. 

Single-wicket playing has been practically dead since 1850, 
though Hayward, Carpenter, and Tarrant played two matches 
about the year 1862. The subject possesses only an historical 
interest now, but in old times it created enormous excitement, 
and no doubt the pride of the men of Kent in Alfred Mynn 
was largely owing to his single-wicket prowess. If such 
matches were played on the smooth wickets of modern times, 
the fortunate man who won the toss might never be got out 
all day, and the game would become a burlesque on cricket. 
Eleven fieldsmen, and not one bowler merely, are now re- 
quired to get out Mr. Grace and Shrewsbury, and but few 
wickets are bowled down as compared with the days of fast 
bowling and rough grounds. When the All England elevens 
used to tour about the country under the management first of 
William Clarke and then of George Parr, some of the best 
bowlers in England were to be found in their ranks. Jackson, 
VVillsher, Furley, Tarrant, and others used often to play, and 


occasionally when the regular match was over one of them 
would earn a cheap sort of notoriety by challenging eleven of 
the natives at single wicket. Eleven straight balls were some- 
times found sufficient to get the eleven out, and one run by 
the England player gave him the victory. Such matches are 
absurd, and it is not a matter of regret that they are played 
no longer. 

However, it seems right that a notice of the famous contests 
of old should have been written, on account of the interest they 
formerly excited, and on village greens, where eccentricities of 
ground are to be met with, they may still perhaps be played. 
But they are a relic of the past. 




Amateur, M. C. C. definition 
of an, 356 

Australians, the, 74, 88, 188, 
189, 207, 215, 258, 259, 273, 
276, 285 ; first matches with 
English teams in Australia, 
313, 322 ; first match in 
England, 314; character of 
Gregory's eleven, 314 ; stimu- 
lating effect of rivalry on 
English cricket, 315 ; doings 
of Murdoch's teams in 1880, 
1882, and 1884, 315-318 ; 
visit of Scott's eleven in 
1886, 318; McDonnell's 1888 
team, 319 ; Murdoch again 
captain in 1890, 320 ; the 
eighth team (1893), 321 ; 
Trott's eleven (1896), 321 ; 
Giffen, 322 ; leading batting 
and bowling averages in test 
matches with England, 324, 
325 ; Spofforth, 325 ; reasons 
for excellence of their bowl- 
ing, 326 ; cup contests, 326 

Authorities and literature cited : 
— Ancient Cities of the New 
World (De Charnay's), 2 ; A 
Pleasant Grove of New Fan- 
cies, 3 ; Bell's Life, 274 ; 
Bentley's Cricket -Scores, 
25 ; Brand's Popular Anti- 
quities, 3, 4 ; Byron, 10 ; 
Chapman's Odyssey, 2, 3 ; 
Chesterfield, Lord, 9 ; Clarke, 
Charles Cowden, 17 ; Consti- 


tution Book of Guildford, 6, 
7 ; Contesdu Roi Gambrinus, 
6 ; Cotgrave's French and 
English Dictionary, 5, 6 ; 
Cowper, 10 ; Durfey's Pills 
to purge Melancholy, 3 ; 
English Game cf Cricket 
(Box's), 11 ; Evans, Arthur, 
I ; Florio's Italian Dictionary, 
6 ; Gentleman's Magazine, 
1 1 ; Gray, 9 ; Grimston, Hon. 
Robert, 39, 364 ; Herrick's 
Hesperides, 3 ; History of 
Guildford, 6 ; Huddesford's 
Salmagundi, 10 ; Huddesford's 
Wiccamical Chaplet, 10 ; 
Jamieson's Scotch Dictionary, 
4 ; Jerks in from Short-leg 
(Fitzgerald's), 28, 263, 267 ; 
Johnson, Dr., 3, 9 ; Juvenile 
Sports, 27 ; Knight, 22 ; Life 
of the Scotch Rogue, 4 ; Lilly- 
white's Annual, 245 ; Lilly- 
white's Scores and Biogra- 
phies, 28, 35, 358 ; Lincoln, 
Bishop of, 26 ; Longman's 
Magazine, 153, 154 ; Love's 
Cricket, 12, 15 ; Lyttelton, 
Hon. E., 245 ; Mitford's Our 
Village, 283 ; Murray's Eng- 
lish Dictionary, 5 ; Nyren's 
Cricketer's Guide, 12, 16, 19, 
21, 25, 388 ; Pinder, George, 
252 ; Piozzi, Mrs. , 1 ; Pope, 
9, 31 ; Proctor, R. A., 153 ; 
Prowse, 297 ; Punch, 31 ; 
D D 2 





Pycroft's Cricket Field, 12, 
23, 25, 43, 155, 156, 359; 
Rambler, 5 ; St. Andrews, 
Bishop of, 12, 23, 26, 329 ; 
Scott, Sir Walter, 294 ; 
Skeat's Etymological Dic- 
tionary, 5 ; Sketches of the 
Players (Denison's), 21 ; 
the Sporting Magazine, 21 ; 
Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, 
3-5 ; Teonge, Henry, 8 ; 
Todd's Johnson, 5 ; Tom and 
Jerry, 281 ; Walker, John, 
277 ; Walpole, Horace, 9 ; 
Ward, Rev. Arthur, 313 ; 
Zola's Germinal, 6 

Balls, 195 

Barre, tennis-player, 246 
Base-ball, 2, 3, 153 
Bats, 36, 41, 42 

Batsmen, past and present, ama- 
teur and professional : — 

Abel, 69, 74, 100, 215, 321 

Absalom, C. A., 91 

Aislabie, 28 

Almond, H. H., 32 

Anderson, 370 

Ash, E. P., 40 

Aylward, 16, 24, 389 

Bagge, T. E., 370 

Baldwin, 100 

Balfour, Leslie, 32 

Bannerman, A. C, 145, 316, 

317, 32i 
Bannerman, C, 170, 313, 315 
Barlow, R. G., 90 
Barnes, 68, 358 
Bates, 358, 373 
Beagley, 36, 359, 360 
Beauclerk, Lord F., 20, 23, 

24, 36, 359, 360, 389, 390 
Beldham, William, 20, 23-25, 

35, 36, 389 . 
Bennett, 389 
Bentley, 36 
Bligh, Hon. Ivo, 32, 170, 

241, 273 
Board, 38 
Bonnor, G. J., 74, 77, 86, 

148, 207, 316, 317 
Briggs, 88, 357, 358 

Batsmen {cont.) : 

Broadbridge, James, 36, 390 

Brockwell, 321 

Brown, Charley, 392 

Brown, G., 390 

Bruce, W., 179, 318, 321 

Bryan, 15 

Buchanan, 356 

Budd, 20, 36, 359, 360, 390 

Buller, C. F., 37, 49, 212 

Burbidge, 37 

Burgoyne, 68 

Burn, 320 

Caesar, Julius, 37 

Caffyn, 37, 365 

Carpenter, 37, 39, 40, 54, 64, 

366, 369, 370, 392 
Chalmers, 32 
Champain, 38 
Charlton, 320 
Chatterton, 392 
Cheyne, Arthur, 32 
Cobham, Lord, 64, 355 
Cooper, 37 
Daft, Richard, 37, 38, 39, 40, 

67, 100, 358, 369, 370 
Dakin, 392 
Dalkeith, Lord, 295 
Darling, 179, 322, 323 
Dearman, James, 391 
Dickens, Major, 32 
Donnan, 69, 322 
Douglas, John, 295 
Drake, 369 
Druce, 323 
Emmett, 310 
Evans, A. H., 240 
Evans, E., 318 
Felix, 36, 37, 359, 362, 392 
Fennex, William, 25, 36, 389 
Flowers, 373 
Ford, F. G. J., 53, 56, 73, 

86, 179 
Forman, William, 297 
Freeman tie, 21 
Fryer, F. E. R., 43 
Fuller Pilch, 17, 25, 26, 36, 

43, 49, 79, 156, 363> 305, 

386, 391 
Giffen, G., 74, 148, 207, 316, 

317, 321, 322, 324 
Golden, 389 




Batsmen {cont. ) : 

Grace, E.M., 51, 278 

Grace, G. F., 301, 373 

Grace, W. G., 36, 37, 38, 40, 
43, 44, 52, 54, 56, 58, 64- 
66, 73>%i, 8 5, 86 , 90, 97, 
98, 117, 130, 148, 164, 
183, 196, 212, 213, 214, 
216, 254, 262, 263, 267, 
278,3i3-3 I 5>32i,324,344, 

Graham, 321 

Green, C. E., 309 

Greenwood, Luke, 310 

Gregory, 314, 315, 320-323 

Grey, jack, 297 

Griffith, 37 

Grundy, 67, 365, 372 

Gunn, 60, 62, 63, 93, 100, 

Guy, Joseph, 37, 365 

Hall, Louis, 83, 101, 145,343 

Hankey, 37, 38, 359, 366, 369 

Harris, Lord, 212, 306 

Hay Brown, 32 

Haygarth, 369 

Hay ward, 26, 37, 38, 40, 215, 
227, 323, 366, 370, 392 

Hearne, George, 100 

Hearne, Tom, 37, 67 

Henderson, E., 32 

Hewett, H. T., 179 

Hill, Clement, 179, 322-324 

Hills, Thomas, 391 

Hooker, W., 36 

Horan, 170, 3*5-317 

Hornby, A. N., 43, 183,314 

Howard, T. C., 390 

Hume wood, 390 

Humphrey, Richard, 290 

Humphrey, Tom, 26, 37, 40 

Hunt, Thomas, 392 

Iddison, Roger, 263, 310 

Iredale, F. A., 322, 323, 324 

Jackson, F. S., 40, 85, 214, 
215, 321, 354 

Jessop, 38, 74, 86 

Jones, George, 74 

Jones, T. B., 275 

Jones, S. P., 316 

Jupp, 26 

Kempson, 359, 366 


Batsmen {cont.) : 

Key, K. J., 61, 64, 254, 263 

King, R. T., 275, 277, 278 

Lambert, W., 25, 36, 389, 390 

Lane, 369 

Lane, C. G., 37 

Law, W., 274, 275 

Lear, George, 17 

Leslie, C. F. H., 239, 240 

Lillywhite, James, 313 

Lillywhite, W., 365 

Lockwood, 213, 357 

Lockyer, Tom, 370 

Long, R. P., 364 

Lubbock, 37 

Lucas, A. P., 66, 196, 373 

Lucas, F. M., 179 

Lyons, 77, 86, 321 

Lyttehon, Hon. A., 92, 373 

Lyttelton, Hon. C. G. (now 

Lord), 37, 40, 64, 371 
Lyttelton, Hon. E., 189 
McDonnell, P. S., 74, 148, 

207, 262,263,317-319,322 
Mcllwraith, J., 318 
Mackenzie, Jack, 32 
McLaren, 85, 215, 323, 324, 

Maitland, 37 
Makinson, 370, 371 
Marsden, 37, 391 
Marshall, R. T., 295 
Marshall, Tom, 32 
Massie, H. H., 74, 148, 316, 

Maul r H. C., 56 
Mitchell, R. A. H., 37, 40, 

62, 64, 370, 371 
Mortlock, 37, 268 
Moses, 179 
- Moule, W. H., 316 

Murdoch, W. L., 158, 170, 

1^9, 315-320, 324 
Mynn, A., 37, 361, 362, 363, 

391, 392 
Newland, 15 
Nichols, 100 
Norman, F. H., 37 
O'Brien, 61, 86 
Osbaldeston, 36, 390, 392 
Painter, 101 
Palairet, L. C. H., 72, 85 





Batsmen {cont. ) : 
Palmer, G. E., 316 
Parr, George, 37, 40, 62, 63, 

65, 66, 227, 256, 313, 362, 

363, 3 6 5-37i, 392 
Patterson, 66, 373 
Pauncefote, B., 56 
Peel, 88, 179, 213 
Penn, Frank, 46 
Philipson, 321 
Pilling, 212 

Pinder, George, 277, 310 
Quaife, W., 100 
Quaife, W. G., 100 
Ranjitsinhji, K. S., 47, 85, 

215, 323, 324 
Read, W. W., 40, 117, 213, 

214, 318 
Ridley, A. W., 212 
Robinson, Tom, 389 
Rotherham, 373 
Rumney, 15 
Saunders, 36 

Scott, H. J. H., 163, 317, 318 
Scott, Hon. J.M., 32, 296, 298 
Scott, Lord George, 32, 296 
Scotton, W., 179, 358 
Searle, 36 
Selby, 358 
Sherman, 390, 392 
Shrewsbury, Arthur, 54, 56, 

60, 73, 76, 77, 78, 83, 100, 

188, 196, 212, 213, 324, 

343, 358, 373, 376, 392 
Small, John, 17 
Smart, Charles, 281 
Smith, 15 
Steel, A. G., 32, 56, 73, 76, 

78, 86, 324, 376 
Steel, D. Q., 66 
Stephenson, 37, 313, 370, 371 
Stoddart, A. E., 40, 53, 196, 

213, 215,321-325,327,376 
Storer, 321, 333 
Sueter, Tom, 17, 24 
Sugg, ico 
Tarrant, 392 

Taylor, C. G., 37, 362-364 
Thornton, C. I., 77 
Tinley, R. C., 392 
Townsend, 38 
Trott, 189, 322, 323 

Batsmen {cont. ) : 

Trumble, J. W., 318 
Tufton, Hon. H., 359 
Tufton, Hon. T., 359 
Tunnicliffe, 100 
Ulyett, G., 148 
Wakley, Billy, 281 
Walker, J., 277, 370 
Walker, T. , 20, 2 1 , 24, 47, 389 
Walker, V. E., 37 
Walters, 320 
Ward, A., 100, 215 
Ward, W., 16, 23,26, 31,36, 

Watson, Charles, 281 
Webbe, A. J., 43, 314, 387 
Wenman, E. G., 37 
Wisden, 392 
Wootton, 101, 310, 372 
Wyer, Michael Russell, 296 
Yard ley, W., 43, 56 
{See also tinder University 
, Cricketers) 

Batting, art of, 34 ; shape of 
Dat > 35, 36 5 choice of bat, 
41 ; rules for the guidance 
of batsmen, 41 ; position at 
wicket, 42-46; Fuller Pilch 
as a model batsman, 36, 43 ; 
W. G. Grace's attitude, 44 ; 
manner of holding the bat, 
45 ; playing fast bowling, 46 ; 
position of right foot, 46, 54, 
65, 302 ; pulling a straight 
fast ball to leg, 47 ; correct 
pose of left shoulder and 
elbow, 48, 54, 71 ; what to 
do when the ball is well out- 
side off stump, 48 ; forward 
play, 48 ; how to meet 
shooters, 50; tactics when 
playing and unable to smother 
the ball at the pitch, 51 ; half- 
cock stroke, 51 ; back play, 

39, 53 J dealing with a very 
short ball, 54 ; easy wickets, 
56 ; the hanging ball, 57 : 
the yorker, 57, 129, 130 ; 
offensive tactics, 58; the cut, 

40, 42, 59 ; weak-wristed 
players' cutting, 61 ; the leg- 
hit, 62 ; hit to square-leg, 39, 





63 ; pushing, 64 ; the glide, 65 ; 
playing a ball on the legs that 
is not short enough to play 
back to, 66 ; the • draw,' 
67 ; snicking a ball off leg- 
stump, 67 ; forcing stroke off 
the legs, 68 ; off-drive to 
coverpcint and right hand of 
point, 68 ; off balls, 69 ; half- 
volley on off side, 71 ; the 
hard drive, 72 ; half-volley 
on on side, 72 ; play to fast 
bowling on soft tricky wickets, 
73 ; hitting on difficult 
wickets, 74 ; play to slow 
bowling, 75 ; running out to 
drive, 76 ; dealing with balls 
that are well outside the off 
stump, 78 ; playing lobs, 78 ; 
the pat, 79 ; how to meet fast 
or medium-pace balls on soft 
wickets, 81 ; running, 83 ; 
imitation of great players, 
85 ; temperament, 86 ; ner- 
vousness, 87 ; rules of health, 
88 ; sleep, 88 ; over-eating, 

88 ; superstitions of players, 

89 ; number of ways of getting 
out, 89, 91 ; hitting twice, 

90 ; picking up the ball while 
in ' play,' 90 ; obstructing 
the field, 90 ; rule for playing 
off breaks of all paces, 117; 
timidity with balls on off side, 
132; pokey batsman dealing 
with high-dropping full-pitch 
ball, 139 ; when wicket soft- 
ened by overnight rainfall, 
142 ; mistakes made about the 
state of the wicket, 146 ; deal- 
ing with left-handed bowlers, 
149 ; left-handed batsmen, 
178; W. G. Grace's counsel 
on how to score, 299-312. 
{See also under Bowling) 

Betting, 102 

Border cricket, 292 ; character 
of wicket, 292 ; trop de zele, 
294 ; patriotic partiality of 
umpires, 293 ; playing for 
victory rather than cricket, 
294 ; surroundings of grounds, 

294 ; batting and bowling, 

295 ; • Les Enfants Perdus,' 
295 ; ' Eccentric Flamingoes,' 
295 ; T. R. Marshall, 295 ; 
pleasant reminiscences, 296 ; 

- at the present day, 297 ; 

umpiring, 298 
Border Cup, 298 
Bowlers, past and present, ama- 
teur and professional : — 

Absolom, 285 

Allan, 152, 153, 314, 325 

Appleby, 97, 178 

Atkinson, 277 

Attewell, 48, 88, 149, 212, 

Barclay, 23, 24, 32 
Barker, Tom, 37 
Barnes, 358, 373, 3S6 
Barrett, 320 
Bates, 207, 258 
Bathurst, Sir F., 37, 362, 

364, 366, 373 
Bean, 357 
Beauclerk, Lord F., 23, 24, 

359, 389 
Eeldham, 359, 390 
Bennett, George, 39, 76 
Bland, 122 
Bonnor, 172 
Bowley, 160 
Box, Tom, 276 
Boyle, Cecil, 23 
Boyle, H. F., 258, 314, 315, 

316, 317, 325 
Brand, 390 

Brett, Thomas, 17, 23, 24 
Briggs, 73, 75, 88, 100, 147, 

149, 151, 152, 169, 211, 

215, 321, 325, 357, 358 
Broadbridge, James, 21, 22, 

35, 365 
Brown, 357 
Brown, George, 365 
Browne, 23 
Bruce, W., 321 
Buchanan, David, 38, 97, 132, 


Budd, E. H., 26, 35 
Bull, 97, 215 
Bunch, 181 
Butler, 161 





Bowlers {cont.) : 
Caffyn, W., 357 *- 
Carpenter, 26, 227 
Christopherson, S., 160 
Clarke, William, 23, 37, 75, 

79, I54-I57,362,363,365» 

366, 392 
Cobbett, 37, 360, 361 
Cooper, W. H., 108 
Crossland, 160 
Cunliffe, 76, 97, 161 
Cuttell, 122, 161 
Davidson, 88, 122, 161 
Dean, 366 
Dryden, Billy, 297 
Emmett, Tom, 88, 101, 134, 

166, 168, 178, 275, 277, 

309, 318 
Evans, 74, 135, 161, 325, 373 
Felix, 365 

Fellows, Harvey, 24, 364, 366 
Ferris, J. J., 319, 320, 325 
Flowers, 212, 373 
Forbes, 172 
Ford, A. F. J., 239 
Francis, 161 
Freeman, 24, 39, 161, 277, 309 

Fuller Pilch, 361, 365, 391 
Furley, 392 
Game, 172, 275 
Garrett, T. W., 74, 277, 

ZH-Z l 7> 325 
Giffen, G., 73, 167, 168, 

316, 317, 321, 322, 325 
Glassford, Clement, 32, 297 
Grace, W. G., 97, 153, 168, 

169, 213 
Grant, Hope, 24 
Greenwood, Luke, 372 
Hall, Harry, 25 
Hammond, 359 
Harris, D., 19-21, 24, 358, 

Harrison, 160 
Hartley, 59 
Hearne, A., 59, 116, 122, 

212, 215 
Hearne, J. T., 161, 325 
Hide, J. 357 

Hill, Allan, 160, 277, 358 
Hillyer, 37, 75, 362, 365 

Bowlers {cont.) : 
Hirst, 88, 122, 215 
Hodgson, 31 
Hodswell, 16 
Horan, 315, 316 
Howard, T. C, 360 
Howell, 323, 325 
Humphreys, 154, 156, 321 
Jackson, 24, 31, 39, 54, 76, 

97, 161, 369, 370, 392 
Jephson, 154 

Jessop, 38, 59, 74, 76, 97, 161 
Jones, 59, 174, 322, 323, 325 
Kempson, 366, 373 
Kendall, Tom, 152 
Knight, G., 21, 22 
Kortright, 76, 97, 161 
Lambert, 17, 18, 23, 359 
Lang, R., 24, 268, 274 
Leslie, G F. H., 170 
Lilly white, James, 81, 313 
Lilly white, John, 301, 369 
Lilly white, W., 17, 21, 22, 

Lockwood, 116, 211, 212, 

213, 321, 357, 358 
Lohmann, 174, 212, 325, 386 
Lumpy (Stevens), 12, 18, 24, 

Lyttelton, Hon. A., 318 
Mann, Noah, 18, 358 
Marcon, 24 
Marsden T. , 390, 391 
Marsham, C. D., 369, 370 
Martingell, 63, 112, 366 
Mathews, 360 
McDonnell, P. S., 316 
Mclntyre, Martin, 81 
McKibbin, 174, 322 
McLeod, R., 321, 323 
Midwinter, 315, 317 
Miles, Planner, 280 
Minshull, 388 
Mold, 116, 122, 161, 164, 

211, 212, 213 
Morley, Fred., 81, 82, 166, 

Morton, 161 
Mynn, Alfred, 22-24, 26, 37, 

75,275, 276,360,361,362, 

364, 365, 366, 386, 391 
Noble, 323, 325 





Bowlers (con/.) : 
Nyren, Richard, 17 
Osbaldeston, 23, 390 
Palmer, 74, 105, 121, 151, 

164, 168, 174, 258, 276, 

277, 317, 325 
Payne, 369 
Peate, 38, 81, 100, 147, 151, 

168, 276, 318, 373 
Peel, 75, 88, 149, 151, 211, 

213,215, 325 
Powys, 24, 161, 268 
Rawlin, 88 

Redgate, 37, 75, 275, 361 
Richardson, 39, 76, 81, 116, 

122, 161, 174, 215, 325 
Ridley, A. W., 154, 156,212, 

270, 274, 275, 314 
Rotherham, A., 160, 164, 373 
Rotherham, H., 160 
Saunders, 21 
Searle, 21 
Shaw, Alfred, 38, 76, 81, 82, 


212,289, 309,314,364, 372 
Shaw, J. C, 152, 289/301, 


Shrewsbury, 271 

Silcock, 112 

Sinclair, 32 

Slinn, 31 

Smith, 373 

Southerton, 81, 115, 276 

Spofforth, 23, 98, 120, 121, 
133, 134, 148, 149, 162, 
164, 167, 172, 174, 185, 
189, 241, 258, 268, 277, 

Steel, 373 

Stephenson, 369 

Stratford, 108 

Streatfeild, 97 

Studd, 97 

Tarrant, 24, 54, 161, 370, 
371, 392 

Taylor, 366 

Thewlis, 358 

Thornton, C, I., 181 

Tinley, 31, 156 

Toppin, C, 160 

Trott, 59, 189, 321, 323 

Trumble, H., 320-323, 325 

Bowlers (con/.) : 

Turner, C. T. B., 120, 149, 

174, 3!9, 320-322, 325, 326 
Tylecote, 170 
Tyler, 38, 75, 147, 276 
Ulyett, 160, 277, 373- 
Vigne, 360 
Wainwright, 59, 88, 147, 212, 

213, 215 
Walker, T., 19,22,24,35,359 
Walker, y. E., 156 
Ward, A., 215 
Watson, 100, 373 
Wells, C. M., 97, 212 
Wenman, 361, 365, 366 
Wheeler, 357 
Whitby, 160 
Willes, 19, 21, 22, 96 
Willsher, 23, 369-371, 392 
Wilson, 97 
Wisden, 365, 369 
Wood, J. B., 156 
Woods, S. M. J., 76,97, 161, 

164, 373 
Wootton, 309 
Wright, W., 100, 101, 178, 

\onge, George, 364 
(See also under University 
Bowling, art of, 94 ; present 
contrasted with past, 95 ; fall- 
ing off in amateur, 97 ; at the 
public schools, 97, 98 ; the 
professional bowler, 98-102, 
357 ; object of the bowler, 
102 ; the four motions of the 
ball and their intention, 103 ; 
the spin from right to left, or 
leg-break, 104-113 ; placing 
fieldsmen for leg-break balls, 
107 ; rotary motion of ball 
from left to right, or off break, 
J 13 ; what becomes of likely 
balls if not well played, 114 ; 
break-back, 115, 117, 138; 
fast off break, 116; playing 
off breaks, 117 ; upward ver- 
tical spin, 118; downward 
vertical spin, 118; combina- 
tions of spin, 119 ; change of 
pace, 1 1 9-1 2 1 ; high delivery, 




122 ; advantages of slow de- 
livery, 122-127 ; two excep- 
tions to putting on slows, 124 ; 
yorkers, 128, 164 ; leg half- 
volleys, 131 ; good-length ball 
outside off stump, 131 ; bowl- 
ing player off his legs, 133 ; 
from different distances, 134 ; 
choice of ends, by the slow 
bowler, 135 ; taking advan- 
tage of peculiarities of time 
and ground, 136; avoidance 
of singularity of dress or man- 
ner, 137 ; changing from over 
to round the wicket, 137; 
varieties of full-pitch, 138 ; 
high-dropping full-pitch, 138 ; 
ordinary slow fuli-pitch, 140 ; 
medium-paced full-pitch, 140 ; 
how to turn different states of 
the ground to advantage, 142 ; 
long-hops, 145, 146 ; sodden 
wickets, 145 ; the ' cutting 
through ' state, 147 ; the dry- 
ing state, 147 ; hard and 
crumbled wicket, 149 ; left- 
handed bowlers, 149-153 ; 
balls curling or twisting in 
the air, 153, 154 ; under- 
hand slows, 154 ; lobs, 156, 
209; fast bowling, 158- 167 ; 
the off break, 162 ; long run 
up to wicket before delivery, 
162 ; practising before be- 
ginning, 163 ; straight de- 
livery, 163 ; value of long 
stops, 164 ; leg-stump bowl- 
ing, 165 ; bowling over and 
round the wicket, 165 ; 
getting leg bias on a ball, 
166 ; attitude in delivery, 
1 66- 1 68 ; 'every cricketer 
should bowl,' 170 ; throwing, 
1 7 1- 1 75 ; position of field for 
fast bowling, 175, 178; dealing 
with left-handed bats, 178; 
shooters, 180; fast under-arm 
bowling, 181 ; sneaks, 181 ; 
rules for bowlers in the field, 
182- 186; obedience to captain, 
182 ; quick return of bowler to 
wicket, 183 ; appeals to um- 

184 ; shoes, 

pires, 1S4; shoes, 184; cut- 
ting up the wicket, 184 ; rules 
for beginners, 185 ; training 
young cricketers, 382. (See 
also under Batting) 
Buccleuch, Duke of, 292, 297 
Bunyan, John, playing at cat, 4 

Captains, 191 ; few good, and 
those amateurs, 187, 188 ; dif- 
ficulties of professional, 188 ; 
captaincy of the Australians, 
189 ; qualifications for, 189 ; 
nervous order, 190 ; apathetic 
kind, 190; bowling enthu- 
siasts, 190 ; duties of, 191 ; 
choice of team, 191, 207 ; 
putting the other side in first, 
191 ; order of sending men 
in, 1 95- 1 97 ; counsel and en- 
couragement to players, 198 ; 
right of captains to order men 
to get out or to bowl wides to 
cause or prevent a follow on, 
198-203 ; economising time, 

203 ; educational hints to 
men, 203 ; correcting slovenly 
dress, 204 ; duties in field, 

204 ; management of the 
bowling, 204 ; placing field, 
206 ; duties of captains of 
University and Public Schools 
teams, 207 ; management of 

'school elevens, 209 ; enforcing 
practice, 210 ; what to drink, 
210 ; selection of teams, 
211-216; cheerfulness and 
watchfulness, 216 

Cat-and-dog, 4, 5 

Clubs : — All England Eleven, 
363 ; Drumpellier, 32 ; Ec- 
centric Flamingoes, 295 ; 
Free Foresters, 31 ; Hamble- 
don, 10, 19, 21, 31,358,388; 
I. Z., 31 ; Melbourne, 313 ; 
Old Grange, 32 ; Richmond, 
12; Vine (Sevenoaks), 11 ; 
West of Scotland, 32 ; White 
Conduit, 27 

Country cricket, 280; a rustic 
match in 1830, 280 ; dress of 
period, 280 ; paraphernalia 





of the time, 281 ; a common 
warlike wind-op of the match, 
282 ; modern village cricket, 
282 ; training of village lads, 
283 ; single wicket, 284 ; 
practice before a match, 284 ; 
sixpence on the wicket, 285 ; 
the thing to ■ burn ' into a young 
player's mind, 285 ; getting 
and saving runs, 285 ; manage- 
ment and finance, 286 ; sub- 
scriptions, 286 ; professional 
trainers, 284, 286 ; playing 
against strong in preference 
to weak teams, 2&J ; educat- 
ing the rougher element, 287 ; 
introduction of the school 
element, 288 ; a captain's re- 
ward, 288 ; debut of Richard 
Humphrey, 289 ; expenses, 
290 ; country umpires, 290 
Cricket, history of, I ; archee- 
ology of the game, 1 ; Strutt 
on stool-ball, 3 ; cat-and-dog, 
4 ; derivation of the word 
' cricket,' 5 ; * Miss Wicket,' 
7, 11 ; in Queen Elizabeth's 
time, 7, 8 ; costume of 
cricketers in 1791, 10 ; the 
ball in 1 770, 1 1 ; curved bats, 
11, 24; earliest laws, 12; 
Mr. Love's poetical effusion, 
15 ; a ghost at a cricket 
match, 15, note ; Hambledon 
the centre of cricket, 17 ; 
Nyren's Cricketer's Guide, 
16, et seq. ; Lumpy and Noah 
Mann, 18 ; David Harris, 
19; William Lillywhite, 21, 
22 ; Beldham, 25 ; rise of the 
Marylebone C. C. , 27 ; M. C. C. 
laws, 28 ; origin of Lord's, 
27, 28 ; epochs in the history 
of the game, 31 ; Scotch 
cricket, 32 ; the whole art of 
batting, 34-93 ; Fuller Pilch, 
36, 43 ; W. G. Grace as a 
batsman, 37, 44, et seq. ; 
C. G. Lyttelton, Humphrey, 
and Ash, 40 ; Robert Car- 
penter, 54 ; superstitions 
among cricketers, 89 ; scien- 

tific bowling, 94-186 ; Willes' 
introduction of round-arm 
bowling, 96 ; concerning pro- 
fessionals, 98-102; danger of 
game drifting into a mere 
monetary speculation, T02 ; 
Spofforth, 120, 133, 324, 325, 
374; A. Shaw, 121; Tom 
Emmett, 134 ; Peate, 151 ; 
David Buchanan, i5i;Briggs, 
151 ; Mr. R. A. Proctor on 
bowling, 153 ; W. G. Grace 
as a bowler, 169 ; anecdote 
respecting W. G. Grace and 
Briggs, 169 ; bowling in 
Australia, 174; the genius 
who had discovered how to 
bowl shooters, 181 ; captains 
and their functions, 187-216 ; 
'Pavilion' criticism, 198; 
M.C.C. legislation as to 
following on and declaring 
innings at an end, 202 ; 
Morley's geographical attain- 
ments, 205 ; selecting repre- 
sentative elevens, 211-216 ; 
umpires and their duties, 217- 
244 ; a primitive match in 
Hampshire, 228 ; the umpire 
who ' dussn't give him out,' 
231 ; the art of fielding, 245- 
279 ; country cricket, 28c— 
291 ; description of a rustic 
match in 1830, 280-282 ; re- 
miniscences of Border cricket, 
292-298 ; W. G. Grace on 
1 How to score,' 299-312 ; the 
Australians and their doings, 
3 J 3~3 2 7 ; matches of English 
with Australian teams, 313— 
325 ; reason alleged for excel- 
lence of Australian bowling, 
325 ; anecdote of a famous 
fieldsman, 327 ; the Univer- 
sity cricket match, 328-355 ; 
Bishop Wordsworth's account 
of the first Inter-University 
match, 330-333 ; the famous 
two-run success of Cambridge 
University in 1870, 339 ; the 
celebrated six-run victory of 
Oxford in 1875, 346 ; the 





University bowlers, 352 ; en 
counters of the Gentleman 
and Players, 356-374 ; Alfred 
Mynn, 361 ; training young 
cricketers, 375-385; single 
wicket, 386-393 
Cricket-grounds, Australian, 326 

Dex, 1 

Dorset, Duke of, 388, 389 
Dress, 204, 387 
Drink, 210 

Fielding, 245 ; a safe field, 246; 
directions for, 246 ; backing 
up, 247 ; throwing, 248 ; deep 
field, or country catching, 
250; wicket-keeping, 251; 
long-leg, 256 ; mid-off and 
mid-on, 257 ; cover-point, 
259 ; point, 260-262 ; short- 
slip, 263 ; third man, 265 ; 
short-leg, 266 ; long-stop, 
267-270 ; bad, indifferent, 
and specious fielding, 271 ; 
famous fielders, 272-276 ; 
celebrated wicket-keepers, 
276 ; young cricketers, 384 

Fieldsmen : — 
Andrews, 278 
Barlow, 170 
Bell, F., 278 
Bickley, John, 278 
Boyle, H. F., 206, 258 
Briggs, 278, 325 
Burnup, 247 
Bury, W., 274, 278 
Carpenter, 227, 260, 278 
Dench, 365 
Diver, A., 268, 278 
Douglas, J., 246 
Game, 275 
Giffen, G., 325 
Grace, Dr. E. M., 278 
Grace, W. G., 262, 263, 278 
Gregory, 278 
Gunn, 213, 278, 285 
Hartopp, E. S. E., 278 
Hildyard, 278 
Jones, T. B., 275 
King, R. T., 275, 277, 278 
Lang, R., 274, 278 

Fieldsmen {cont.) : 

Law, W., 260, 274, 275 
Lubbock, A., 278 
Lyttelton, Hon. C. G., 274 
Mansfield, Hon. J. W., 278 
Marshall, H. M., 268, 274, 

Moorhouse, 278 
Mordaunt, G. J., 260 
Mortlock, W., 278 
Palairet, 246 
Pickering, W., 275, 278 
Pilch, W., 278 
Read, W. W., 207 
Ridley, 274, 275 
Royle, 275, 278, 326 
Shaw, J. C, 267 
Shrewsbury, 212 213 
Smith, John, 62, 278 
Studd, G. B., 258, 278 
Sugg, 246 
Taylor, Tosiah, 281 
Thewlisj J., 278 
Tinley, R. C. 278 
Tobin, F. , 268 
Wainwright, 247, 278 
Walker, J., 277 
Walker, V. E., 278 
Wright, F. W., 278 

Gentlemen and Players, 
356 ; defini ion of amateur 
and professional, 356 ; Mr. 
W. G. Grace's share in the 
matches, 371, 372, 373; 
supremacy of professionals as 
bowlers, 357 ; congestion of 
professional skill in certain 
districts, 358 ; amateurs, 358 ; 
the first match, 359 ; details 
of matches played, 360-373 ; 
Alfred Mynn, 361 ; the Barn 
Door Match or Ward's Folly, 
361 ; William Lillywhite, 362, 
364 ; William Clarke, 362 ; 
the year 1846, 363 ; C. G. 
Taylor, 363 ; Fuller Pilch, 
365 ; victories of the Players 
from 1853 to 1865, 366 ; in 
1857, 369 ; victories of the 
Gentlemen, 1866-1879, 372 ; 
a tie, 373 ; the future, 374 




Gregory's Australian team, 314 
Grounds:— Bramall Lane, Shef- 
field, 271 j Bunswick, Hove, 
Brighton, 301 ; Bullingdon 
Green, 328 ; Clifton College, 
308 ; Cowley Marsh, 328 ; 
Eenner's, 339 ; Lascelles Hall, 
357 ; Lord's, 24, 27, 28, 38, 
53, 66, 75, 90, 92, 147, 168, 
188, 189, 193, 208, 218, 227, 
93S> 2 73> 274, 290, 295, 309, 
314, 318-320, 328-330, 359, 
3 6 9-373 5 Magdalen, Oxford, 
328 ; Oval, 28, 64, 74, 188, 
218, 227, 235, 262, 273, 318- 
320, 329, 369-373 

Hambledon, the home of 

cricket, 17 
Hawick, cricket at, 292, 295 
Health, 88 
Hockey, 2 

KENT, cricketing in, in 1830, 

' Laws of Cricket ' revised at 
the ' Star and Garter ' by a 
committee of noblemen and 
gentlemen, &c, 218 

Lord, Thomas, founder of Lord's 
cricket-ground, 27 

McDonnell's Australian team, 


Mann, Sir Horace, 389 

Marylebone Cricket Club, the 
parliament of cricket, 27 ; 
presidents and secretaries, 28 ; 
abolition of rule forbidding 
ground to be rolled except 
before each innings, 142 ; on 
throwing, 172, 174; onlollow- 
on and declaring innings at 
end, 202 ; on definition of 
amateur, 356 

Matches : —Australians v. Cam- 
bridge University, 314, 315, 
316; v. Derbyshire, 315 ; v. 
.England, 169, 194, 262, 271, 
315-322 ; v. Gentlemen of 
England, 168, 314, 315, 316 ; 


v. Gloucestershire, 314, 315 ; 
v. Lancashire, 316 ; v. Lei- 
cestershire, 314; v. M.C.C., 
314; v. Middlesex, 314; 7;. 
Nottingham, 314, 315, 316; 
v. Oxford University, 316; 
v. Players, 315, 316; v. Sur- 
rey, 314 ; v. Sussex, 314 ; v. 
Yorkshire, 74, 314-317. Cam- 
bridge v. Oxford, 135, 194, 
275,328-353; Eton v. Harrow, 
332 ; Gentlemen v. Players, 
38, 40, 87, 188, 273, 301, 
3 2 9» 356-374- Gloucestershire 
v. Kent, 308 ; v. Notts, 306 ; 
v. Surrey, 86, 307 ; v. York- 
shire, 306. Hambledon v. 
England, 388, 389 ; Hamp- 
shire v. England, 389 ; Kent 
v. All England, 15 ; v. Ham- 
bledon, 388, 389; v. Hants, 
389; v. Sussex, 76. M.C.C. 
v. Cambridge University, 86, 
92 ; v. Hertfordshire, 28 ; v. 
Kent, 306 ; v. Oxford Uni- 
versity, 87 ; v. Yorkshire, 
309. North v. South, 38, 
90. Notts v. Yorkshire, 63. 
Surrey v. Cambridge Univer- 
sity, 91 ; v. England, 389 ; 
v. Kent, 43; v. Notts, 289 

Maxwell, Mr., 298 

Murdoch's teams of Australian 
cricketers, 315-318, 320 

Nervousness, 87 
Nottinghamshire bowlers, 357 

Pallamajo, 1 

Professionals as a class, 98, 
101, 102 ; prospects of, in 
their career, 99-101 ; defini- 
tion of, 356 

Public schools and colleges, 
bowling at the, 95, 97, 98 ; 
captains, 207, 209; elevens, 
209 ; Charterhouse, 330, 354 ; 
Cheltenham, 354 ; Clilton, 
354; Eton, 9, 330, 332, 
339. 353; Harrow, 330, 
353 ; Marlborough, 354 ; 
Kepton, 354; Rugby, 151, 





330, 353 ; Shrewsbury, 10 ; 
Tonbridge, 354; Uppingham, 
164, 354; Westminster, 354 ; 
Winchester, 330, 354 ; Wyke- 
ham, 330, 33 i 

Regimen, 210 
Rounders, I, 2 
Rustic match, a, in 1830, 280 

Scores, how to make good, 299 ; 
diet, sleep, and exercise, 299 ; 
early training, 300 ; practice 
on ground previous to match, 
300 ; testing pads, gloves, and 
shoes, 301 ; punctuality at 
wicket, 302 ; taking guard, 
302 ; observation of position 
of field, 302 ; beginning of 
innings, 303 ; avoidance of 
sharp runs, 303 ; running out 
big hits, 304 ; playing balls 
too quickly, 304 ; dealing 
with thirst, 304; modesty in 
the hour of victory, 305 ; 
differing orders of wickets, 
305 ; a fast, dry, and true 
wicket, 305 ; a fast, good, 
wet wicket, 307 ; a slow, 
good, dry wicket, 307 ; a 
bumpy wicket, 308 ; a drying, 
sticky wicket, 310 ; dealing 
with straight balls, 310 ; 
valuable hints, 310, 311 ; 
playing against odds, 311 

Scotch cricket, 32, 194, 230 

Scott's Australian eleven, 31S 

Shoes, 184, 241 

Single wicket, 284, 386 ; rules, 
387 ; annals, 388-392 

Sleep, 88 

Smoking, 210 

Snob-cricket, I 

Spikes, 184 

Stoddart's English team in Aus- 
tralia, 215, 322-323 

Stool-ball, 1-4 

Stump-cricket, I 

Superstition among players, 89 

Sutton-in-Ashfield, the nursery 
of bowlers, 358 

Temperament, 86 

Throwing, 171 

Training young cricketers, art 
of, 375 J beginning early, 375 ; 
evils of over-coaching, 376, 
380 ; learning to bat, 377- 
382 ; duties of the coach, 380 ; 
teaching to bowl, 382-384 ; 
fielding, 384 

Trott's Australian team, 321, 322 

Umpires, 217 ; none in early 
days of cricket, 217 ; scoring 
by the ' notcher,' 217; rules 
for, in the • Laws of Cricket,' 

218 ; former custom of each 
side providing its own, 218 ; 
present mode of nominating, 
219 ; source from whence 
drawn, 219; difficulties of, 

219 ; deciding on question of 
bat or hand touching ball, 
219; finality of decisions, 
221 ; in cases of l.b.w., 223 ; 
mutinous bowlers, 225 ; club 
cricket disputes, 226 ; at rus- 
tic matches, 226-231 ; folly of 
giving reasons for decisions, 
231 ; qualifications for, 232 ; 
quickness in deciding, 233 ; 
powers of concentration, 233 ; 
duties of 234 ; ground- 
measuring and placing of 
stumps, 234 ; settlement of 
boundaries, 235 ; punctuality, 
235 ; position at wicket, 235 ; 
crying ' no ball,' 236 ; wide 
ball, 237 ; precedence of 
appeal to, at bowler's end, 
238 ; bump balls, 239 ; stump- 
ing, 240 ; fair and unfair play, 
241 ; at striker's end, 241 ; 
use of common sense, 244 ; 
country specimens, 290; in 
Border cricket, 298 

Umpires :— Barker, Tom, 290 ; 

Bayley, J., 290; Caldecourt, 

290 ; Good, 290 ; Ost, 281 
Universities, bowling at the, 95, 

97; captains, 207, 209, 210; 

teams, 274 




University cricketers {see also 
wider Batsmen and Bowlers) : 
Absalom, 344 
Anson, T. A,, 334 
Ash, E. P., 40 
Baily, 339 

Balfour, R. D., 334 
Bardsvvell, 334 
Barnard, 330, 332 
Bayley, 331 
Belcher, 340, 343~345 
Berkeley, 334, 338, 355 
Blacker, 347, 349 
Blore, E. W., 336 
Booth, 352 

Bourne, 340, 342, 343, 345 
Briggs, 346, 348 
Buckland, 347, 348 
Bullock, 335 
Butler, S. E., 334, 337, 340, 

342, 343, 345, 355 
Campbell, 347 
Case, 354 

Cobden, 337, 340, 342-346 
Cunliffe, 334 
Curteis, 352 
Dale, 340, 341, 346 
Druce, F. N., 354 
Evans, A. H., 334, 354 
Fawcett, E. B., 337 
Fellowes, E. L. , 334 
Fellowes, W., 335 
Fiennes, W., 335 
Fortescue, 341, 346 
Fowler, 352 

Francis, 340, 342, 346, 354 
Freeman, George, 351 
Fryer, 337, 342 
Game, 346, 348, 351 
Green, C. E., 335 
Greenfield, 349 
Hamilton, 349 
Hill, F. H., 342-345 
Inge, 354 

Jackson, F. S.,334, 354 
Jardine, 335 
Jenner, Herbert, 331 
Kelcey, 347, 348 
Kempson, 355 
Kenney, E. M., 334, 336, 

354, 355 
Key, 335, 336, 354, 355 


University cricketers (coni.) : 
King, R. T., 335 
Lane, C. G., 339, 355 
Lang, R., 334, 335, 337, 346, 

347, 349,350,351,352,355 
Leslie, 329, 353 
Longman, G. H., 339, 347, 

Lucas, 349, 354, 355 
Lyttelton, 349, 350 
Lyttelton, Hon. A., 354, 355 
Lyttelton, Hon. C. G. (now 

Lord), 335, 337, 355 
Macan, 349-35 J 
Maitland, W. ¥., 334, 354, 

Makinson, J., 329, 335, 336, 

Manning, Henry (Cardinal), 

Marsham, C. D., 328, 329, 

334-336, 344, 352, 355 
Mills, W., 334 
Mitchell, 335, 336, 352, 354, 

Money, 337, 340 
O'Brien, 329 
Onslow, D. R., 337 
Ottaway, 339-342, 346, 351, 


Palairet, 354 
Patterson, 346-348, 350 
Pauncefote, 340, 341, 344, 

346, 353, 354, 355 
Payne, A, 335 
Pelham, Hon. F. G., 334, 352, 

Plowden, H. M., 334, 335, 

337, 352, 355 
Powys, W. N. , 334, 339 
Pulman, 347, 348, 351 
Rashleigh, 354 
Raynor, 339 
Ridding, A., 328 
Ridding, C. H., 328 
Ridley, A. W., 338, 346-350, 

352, 355 
Rock, C. W., 334 
Royle, 347-350 
St. Croix, W. de, 334 
Salter, H. W., 334, 335, 337 
Sayres, 336 




University cricketers {con/.) : 
Scott, 337, 340 
Sharpe, 346-349 
Sims, 350-35 2 
Smith, 351 
Smith, A. F., 340 
Stedman, 337 
Steel, A. G., 334, 337, 354, 

Stewart, 343, 344, 345 
Studd, C. T., 334, 354, 355 
Tabor, 339 
Thornton, 337 
Tobin, 337 

Townshend, 342, 346 
Traill, W. F., 334, 355 
Tuck, G. H., 334 
Tylecote, 339-342, 346, 348, 

Voules, S. C, 334, 354 
Walker, J., 33<* 
Walker, R.D., 328, 329, 338, 

Ward, 341, 342 
Ward, Rev. A. R., 314, 344- 

Ward, Harrison, 340 
Warner, 353 
Webbe, 346, 347, 35° 
Wells, 334 
Wills, T. W., 329 
Woods, S. M. J., 334, 338, 

355, 373 
Wordsworth (late Bishop of 

St. Andrews), 329-333 
Wright, 336, 355 
Yardley, 335-337, 339-34*, 

Yonge, G. E., 336 
University cricket-match, the, 
328 ; rules of qualification to 
play in, 328 ; advantage of 
playing on own ground, 329 ; 
Bishop Wordsworth's account 
of the first Inter-University 
match, 330-333 ; results of 
matches, 333 ; quality of the 
bowling, 333, 352 ; individual 


scores, 335, 336 ; celebrated 
bowlers, 336, 337 ; Mr. S. E. 
Butler's great, bowling feat, 
337 ; batting failures, 338 ; 
vicissitudes of the contests, 
339 ; the two-run success of 
Cambridge, 339 -346 : the 
six-run victory of Oxford, 
346-352 ; public schools and 
the University elevens, 353 ; 
all-round players, 354 

Wicket-keeper, duties of, 

209, 219, 220, 251-255 
Wicket-keepers : — 

Anson, T. A., 275, 276 

Blackham, J. M., 268, 276, 
277, 3i6, 317, 320 

Box, Tom, 76, 276 

Bush, 276 

Gay, 276 

Hunter, 276 

Jarvis, 277 

Jenner, Herbert, 276 

Kemble, 276 

Leaiham, 276 

Lilley, 276 

Lockyer, 276 

Lyttelton, Alfred, 240, 276 

McGregor, G., 212, 213, 276, 

Mortlock, 268 

Newton, 276 

Nicholson, W., 276 

Philipson, 276 

Pilling, 212, 276 

Finder, George, 276, 277, 309 

Plumb, 276 

Pooley, 276 

Ridding, W., 276 

Sherwin, 252, 253, 276 

Storer, 215, 276 

Tylecote, E. F. S., 276 

Tylecote, H. G., 274 

Wenman, E. G., 276 

Yorkers, 58, 128, 129 

Sfcttimocdc & Co. r j inters, Xczv-itrcct Square, Lcitccn. 




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